Obermeyer Hydro's reputation inflating
With the demand for water and electric power expected to rise with world population growth, Wellington-based Obermeyer Hydro appears well-positioned to take advantage. The company makes water-control gate systems that use inflatable rubber bladders and fabricated steel gates to hold or release water from dam spillways, irrigation canals, river diversions and other water projects. Obermeyer Hydro's control systems automatically inflate and deflate the bladders as needed to open and close the gates. “The bladders, which are constructed similar to a tire, and the fabricated steel gate panels are mounted on dam spillways,” company founder Henry Obermeyer explained. The highest gates the company has made are 22 feet high and the longest are 1,000 feet across. The systems are more effective than traditional overflow dams, known as fixed weirs, because they can be lowered during floods to maintain a stable water level behind a dam or in a canal. Fixed weirs, without a release capability, can cause upstream flooding along rivers during heavy rains, water releases or heavy snowmelt, Obermeyer said. Obermeyer gates are also superior when used to divert water for treatment plants and turbine intakes at hydroelectric dams. Fixed
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