Eel River Dams’ Removal

*Release October 8, 2021

Plans to remove two historic low-head dams (weirs) on the Eel River in Logansport are moving forward, as the utility company has now selected Deichman Excavating’s bid to complete the work.

The project will remove the larger dam located at 10th Street and the three-foot dam located downstream. The 10th Street dam was first built in 1854 and completed in 1857 for the Logansport Waterworks and Electric Company. The smaller dam was constructed in 1835. Neither dam is in use.

In the past, the Eel River had 14 dams along it, mostly for milling and power sources. Many of them were destroyed naturally. Other Indiana cities have removed four Eel River dams. The dams at Manchester and Liberty Mills were removed in 2012, followed by one near Mexico in 2016.

The project is estimated to cost $300,000.

LMU has already begun the process to release more water flow from the dam gates, allowing water to drop and be rerouted for equipment to be brought in safely. Equipment for the ongoing demolition at the former electric generating plant will also be brought in, to remove the coal conveyer that runs from the south to the north side of the river. Local ecologist Jerry Sweeten and other environmental officials are collaborating with LMU for conservation efforts of wildlife and the land.

The removal is expected to begin on October 17, 2021 and be completed by December 1, 2021.


August 23, 2021 – After more than a decade of investigating AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) systems for utilities, and the last eight months of in-depth evaluations, Logansport Municipal Utilities (LMU) has selected Sensus to provide the program needed to enhance utility operations for the Logansport community.

Both the electric and water departments will share an integrated metering communication network, working in tandem with the new incoming ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system already being developed. The new AMI system will accurately measure water and electricity consumption and rapidly detect leaks or power outages for LMU customers.

The project manager of the AMI provider search is the electric metering department’s supervisor, Brad McBride. He is supported by staff members across various departments and LMU’s superintendent Greg Toth.

Thirty hours of total interviews and presentations, along with, visiting peer companies and speaking with utility colleagues, allowed for a detailed, comprehensive search.

Toth says, “The new AMI system through Sensus will allow greater operational efficiency, have our community using the latest technology for power quality and outage management, as well as improvements within our entire water distribution system.”

Over the next couple of months, contract negotiations will occur with Sensus, finalizing responsibilities, equipment, installations, timelines, and final costs.

Big Changes Along Eel River

July 16, 2021 - Logansport Municipal Utilities (LMU) is moving forward with demolishing the former electric generating plant and water treatment plant in the coming months.

After receiving approval from the utility services board last month to move ahead, work has begun for both the water plant located 1100 Riverside Drive, and the generating plant at 800 Race Street. Along with the two facilities, the coal conveyor running across the Eel River, the defunct water tower, and former coal building on the northside of the river will also be demolished. The contracted work is being supplied by Glynn Demolition based out of Hennepin, Illinois.

There will be temporary fencing put up around the projects. Both facilities will have large equipment on the sites and increased construction noise during the work. Blasting will not be used for demolition. The project is scheduled to be completed before March 28, 2022.

The first steps in the demolition will include the removal of asbestos from both locations, according to State and Federal laws and industry standard practices. Glynn will coordinate with BCA Environmental Consultants. LMU is also removing any relics of historic significance from the buildings for uses to be determined.

The opportunity to launch the demolition projects arose amid rising reclamation steel and scrap brick prices. In the past, it was estimated costs to demolish just the old generator plant was around $6 million. Now both locations will be demolished under an estimated 1.6 million.

To offset some of the costs, LMU has applied for a 500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA.) The grant would help pay for the power plant’s demolition of the coal conveyor and smokestack, supporting the removal of asbestos-containing material on the conveyor and throughout the plant. LMU will learn on August 12, 2021 if the OCRA grant has been awarded.

Long-standing Landmarks

Both facilities have been long-standing landmarks in the city. The power plant generated electricity from 1895 to 2016. LMU now distributes electricity from NextEra Energy, Inc after it was deemed too inefficient and costly to continue producing electricity. In 1914, water was provided to the Logansport community with a filter plant built next to the electric generating plant. The system was improved in 1954 when the water treatment plant was built. This plant treated water from the Eel River. It was decommissioned in late 2013 due to the plant being outdated. The city’s water is now provided from a well field distribution system.

© 2021 Logansport Utilities

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