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Water Conditions


Water Levels can vary greatly – the Morgan Falls site shows the current level (Gauge Height) at Morgan Falls, which is a good, but not perfect indication of the levels downstream of the ARC docks. The amount of the sand bar showing downstream of the island is a good indication of the downstream sandbar situation.

DANGER!!
DO NOT LAUNCH DURING A THUNDERSTORM

If you hear thunder, that’s a sign that a thunderstorm is near…
Don't go out! Check the local weather on the computer station at the boathouse --the radar will show you what’s coming.

DO NOT LAUNCH WITHIN 30 MINUTES
after hearing the last thunderclap of a thunderstorm.

Check the conditions of the water. The river is known to carry a great deal of debris and the current can be strong. This is especially true after it has rained and the river is high. Many shells have been damaged due to floating logs or logs that have lodged on the river bottom after a storm, so please exercise caution after a rain.

Conditions on the river can change very quickly. Watch for any change in the weather conditions. If in any doubt, do not launch. If you are already on the water, use any means to protect yourself from adverse weather conditions. DO NOT GO ON THE WATER IF CONDITIONS DO NOT PERMIT A SAFE ROW!

Fog Do not row if you cannot see across the river at water level.

Wind Exercise extreme caution during windy conditions. Do not launch if white caps form.


Water Speed Above Roswell

(Current Conditions)

Water Speed Safety

Discharge Rate Condition
1,000 cfs
GREAT ROWING
Calm river
2,000
GOOD ROWING
3,000
GOOD ROWING
Novice should exercise caution
4,000
-- ROWABLE --
ROWING UPSTREAM WILL BE CHALLENGING
Small boats exercise caution
5,000
MAY BE ROWABLE
Experienced rowers and large boats exercise caution
6,000
DEFINITELY NOT ROWABLE
River too fast

Morgan Falls Dam

(Current Conditions)

Water level Safety

Gauge Height Condition
866 ft
GOOD ROWING
Full river
865
ROWABLE
4+/x, 8+ watch for sand bars
864
ROWABLE
4+/x, 8+ use caution
863
PROBABLY NOT ROWABLE
Shallow water & high sandbars
862
DEFINITELY NOT ROWABLE
USGS Water-data graph for site 02335810

MORGAN FALLS Dam (DOWNSTREAM release)

The discharge rate at Morgan Falls Dam determines how quickly our section of the Chattahoochee is draining. If the discharge rate is greater than the rate of inflows from Buford Dam and other tributaries then the river depth will decrease. If the discharge is less than the rate of inflows then the depth will increase.

Release rates affect river depth within the hour and also affect water speed, but to a lesser degree.

Wind Speed Safety

Wind Speed Condition
0 - 3 mph
GREAT ROWING
4 - 7
ROWABLE
Small chop may occur
Novice exercise caution
8 - 11
MAY BE ROWABLE
White caps probably forming
Experience rowers use caution
12 - 14
PROBABLY NOT ROWABLE
White caps and difficulty steering
Large boats use caution
15+
DEFINITELY NOT ROWABLE
USGS Water-data graph for site 02335810

Wind Direction Safety

Wind Direction Condition
0 degrees
NORTH
GOOD ROWING
90
EAST
MAY NOT BE ROWABLE
Strong winds may cause white caps along E-to-W spans of the river
180
SOUTH
ROWABLE
Strong winds may cause chop along N-S spans of the river, but areas are generally protected
270
WEST
GOOD ROWING
USGS Water-data graph for site 02335810

Water Speed Forecasts

Norcross (3 hours)

The Norcross site discharge rate will affect the rowing venue about 3 hours after leaving Norcross.

This site provides an indication of rainfall affect in addition to the Buford Dam releases.

Buford Dam (12 hours)

The Buford Dam discharge rate usually varies between 600 cu.ft./sec and 5,000 to 10,000.

It will affect the rowing venue about 12 hours after it leaves Buford Dam.


Water Quality

Generally the E. coli count is higher for heavy flows, especially after heavy rains (an E.coli count above 235 is regarded as potentially unsafe).

The Chattahoochee Riverkeepers track E. coli and other data for several river locations listed alphabetically at http://www.chattahoochee.org/nww/. The ARC team’s 3 testing locations are listed at this page as Big Creek at Riverside Park, Chattahoochee River at Roswell Road and Willeo Creek at Willeo Road.
The NPS data and estimates for Medlock Bridge and Paces Ferry are here.