Rend Lake workers use hammers to break ice in clarifiers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rend Lake workers use hammers to break ice in clarifiers

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

You know it's cold when parts of a lake begin to freeze, and what if that lake were used as a water source?

Well, that's just what workers are dealing with at the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

The water from the lake is pumped in through giant pipes and into a clarifier. From there it's filtered into the rest of the system. But, there in lies the problem.

Rend Lake ConcConservancytrict engineer, Sarah Towle explained, it's so cold the weirs, or small holes the water goes through, are getting blocked by ice. Towle said if the holes were blocked it could cause extreme issues, which is why workers have been breaking the ice almost hourly in shifts.

Towle said the ice will relent when the temperatures do.

"Once its below freezing, we do have to do it a little bit," she explained. "But not quite as often. Our guys are going out there very often right now to break it up."

Towle said they have another tool called a blower. She explained it as a large pipe that goes down under the water. From there, she said it blows a giant burst of air to break ice from under the pump house.

Breaking the ice in the winter is pretty typical, Towle said but never this much or as often. She said as of Monday, they were working around the clock taking shifts to break the ice.

Towle said things should get back to normal as soon as the temperatures do.

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