Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ballard Locks - Watery Wednesday

I don't know much about locks. In the Philippines, we only have flood gates which are cheaper version of a flood lock. So I was fascinated when Che brought me to the Ballard Locks, also known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. It's a complex of locks that sit in the middle of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal.

I devoted time reading this billboard, "Why are the locks needed?" to somehow understand how this device works. But I guess I was still jet lagged, my brain didn't absorb any engineering fact. Good thing their website puts it simply---here goes:

The locks are there to maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20 to 22 feet above sea level. The locks also prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes, and move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice-versa.

The complex has two locks, it also includes a spillway with 6 gates to assist in water-level control. A fish ladder is integrated into the locks for migration of anadromous fish, specifically salmon (will post the fish ladder next week).

The Ballard Locks were formally opened on July 4, 1917 and are operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

a boat waiting for water level to rise

visitors center

Posted for Watery Wednesday

30 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Very nice series of photos showing the locks.

Ebie said...

This is sooo cool! Anything coastal is a beauty!Hehehe! Yeah, our pets can be fellow bloggers, too.
P.S. You having jet lag? It's wee dawn over there! I will post mine later....

Bonnie Bonsai said...

Pwedeng mamingwit ug salmon?

Beautiful post with good internet engineering facts. Pwede na LM. hahaha. cheeky girl!

Dianne said...

I love the top shot
and the visitor's center is very pretty

Photo Cache said...

Looks like you had enough time to see the sights. Glad you shared them with us.

www.ewok1993.wordpress.com (where my post will be)

Bim said...

An interesting series and lots of interesting information, too!

Pagan Sphinx said...

Love the photos, Luna-Miranda! And your doggie Fritz makes me want to get one just like him!

Sidney said...

People always manage to find solutions for their problems... a tribute to the human mind !

AL said...

Bonnie: pwedeng mamingwit ng salmon?
AL: pwede nga ba?

Very informative blog!

AL

Rajesh said...

Very informative and sequence of shots are wonderful.

Stephany said...

Very interesting and great captures!

luna miranda said...

To Bonnie Bonsai and Al, I remember my friend [in Seattle] telling me that only Native Americans are allowed to fish here---not sure if only at the Ballard Locks.

James said...

Great pictures. They are so much more modern than the old canals we have around here.

the donG said...

very interesting on how they use it. i also saw one where huge boats cruise through lakes which also use locks.

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

yep.. the Ballard locks are very cool, and strange to go through on a boat.. we did it once a long time ago.. I just remember watching the process thinking how weird this is! We live in Washington...

Regina said...

Really nice post! Thanks for sharing.

Martha in PA said...

Great post. I remember visit locks when I was a kid, I'm thinking they were in Kentucky, but they fascinated me!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Carita said...

You take good shot about the locks. Have a good day :)

EastCoastLife said...

Interesting. I don't think I can see locks in Singapore.

Dennis Villegas said...

great infor..i think we need several of this locks in the philippines. but we don't really have the budget to build them

Marju said...

Really beautiful photos!

Bestemor Drillo said...

Thanks for your visit! And thanks for sharing.
Have a nice week!

Arija said...

Going through locks can be fun, but also rather tedious.

nonizamboni said...

Wonderful shots of that extraordinary 'watery' area.And your roses for Ruby Tuesday were so lovely. Flowers have the same effect on me as they do you :O)

storyteller said...

What a wonderful theme for your Watery post this week. I recall learning about how locks work first hand when I visited the Great Lakes area of the USA. It's fascinating isn't it!
Thanks for your visit to Sacred Ruminations ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

amanda said...

Wow what a great trip and you took us with you! I have never seen Locks or haow they work this was interesting!
Happy WW!

billsallie said...

Oh beautiful photos of the Lock at Ballard. We haven't been there for years; now I want to go again! (So many places, so little time!)

Thank yo for visiting my blog -- Watery Wednesday is great, I am so glad I stumbled on it.

Sallie at Full-Time Life

Kirigalpoththa said...

interesting and nice pictures!

sunnymama said...

Great watery series of pictures and an interesting post!

Anonymous said...

IT is a great vision it happens.....but very ppl adopt in the reality