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Russell water release begins

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

CEDAR BLUFF RESERVOIR -- Water bound for the city of Russell's wellfield near Pfeifer should be cascading down the Smoky Hill River.

Russell officials Wednesday called for the release of the water beginning this morning.

The water will help recharge the city's water wells near Pfeifer. Hays previously called for the release of water, and it already has reached the city's wellfield near Schoenchen.

As initially outlined, Russell's release virtually will mirror the Hays release, starting at 250 cubic feet per second. It will stay at that rate before dropping down to 150 cfs for two days and eventually falling to 50 cfs for four days.

If Russell holds to that schedule, the amount of water released would be approximately 1,500 acre-feet, nearly 500 million gallons. Russell Public Works Director Arlyn Unrein initially said he hoped to limit the release to 1,000 to 1,200 acre-feet of water.

The release rate, however, is tentative and might be modified depending on the progress of the water downstream.

The Russell City Council on Tuesday agreed to a request from Unrein to call for the release of water. Russell owns the rights to release as much as 2,000 acre-feet of water from Cedar Bluff.

The water release called for by the city of Hays amounted to approximately 1,200 acre-feet and dropped the water level in the lake by approximately 5 inches.