Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Announces Winter Drawdown Schedule and Projects for Area Lakes

November 13, 2015

As part of the flood risk management operation of the reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) conducts annual temporary drawdown of the normal pool elevation of the lake levels. The drawdown allows for additional flood storage capacity needed during the winter thaw and spring rains. The gradual return to normal pool elevation will initiate in February with normal pool elevations obtained in time for the summer recreation season.

The temporary drawdown dates and levels are as follows:

Reservoir

Normal Pool

Winter Level

Total Drawdown (feet)

Begin 2015 Drawdown

Release Duration (days)

Suggested intermediate refill schedule by

March 15, 2016

Atwood

928.00

920.00

8.0

November 15

35

926.00

Charles Mill

997.00

992.00

5.0

November 15

30

995.00

Clendening

898.00

893.00

5.0

November 7

45

896.00

Leesville

963.00

955.00

8.0

November 7

45

961.00

Piedmont

913.00

908.00

5.0

November 15

35

911.00

Pleasant Hill

1020.00

1014.00

6.0

December 1

30

1018.00

Seneca

832.20

827.20

5.0

November 7

45

830.20

Tappan

899.30

891.30

8.0

November 8

35

897.30

 

 

Not only does the temporary drawdown provide valuable increased flood storage capacity but also provides the opportunity to address badly needed maintenance of the 80+ year old reservoirs. MWCD will complete eight major shoreline stabilization projects throughout four of the District’s reservoirs and will also continue dredging operations at one of the lakes. These reservoir maintenance activities are paid for through funds received from the current $5.5 million/year maintenance assessment. MWCD has budgeted over $1.1 million to complete the 2015-2016 shoreline stabilization projects and has committed $10 million for the multi-year Tappan dredging project. Reservoir maintenance projects for the 2015-2016 drawdown include:

  • Atwood Lake
    • Glens Cottage area - 1800 ft. long shoreline stabilization
    • Alive Amphitheater area - 1700 ft. long shoreline stabilization
    • Arrowhead Cottage area - 110 ft. long shoreline stabilization
    • Water Treatment Plant area - 235 ft. long shoreline stabilization
  • Tappan Lake
    • Y-Bay near CR39 Tappan Hills Road - 400 ft. long shoreline stabilization
    • East end of Tappan Lake - continue dredging
  • Pleasant Hill Lake
    • Pine Hill Boat Club area - 130 ft. long shoreline stabilization
  • Leesville Lake
    • Hills Cottage Area - repair damaged shoreline

 

In addition to the reservoir maintenance projects, MWCD will take the opportunity to complete three improvement projects during winter drawdown. MWCD will invest over $1.4 million received from oil and gas leasing revenue on enhancement projects which include:

  • Charles Mill Lake
    • Marina boat ramp and paving improvements
  • Leesville Lake
    • South Fork boat ramp replacement
  • Atwood Lake
    • Construct 1,000 ft. of ADA accessible trail and an 800 ft. long pedestrian bridge connecting the parking lot at Marina West to the new Welcome Center at the park entrance. A kayak/canoe launch is also included in this project.

 

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed covering 8,000 square miles throughout 18 counties in Ohio. The District’s 16 reservoirs and dams have been credited for saving an estimated $11.1 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government. In addition, over 5.5 million customers a year use the District’s recreational facilities throughout Eastern Ohio which bolsters the region’s economy and augments the quality of life for Ohio’s residents.

For more information about the MWCD visit www.mwcd.org

                                                           

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Keywords: drawdown, lakes, winter

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