MWCD Winter Drawdown and Reservoir Improvements Planned
October 11, 2016
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. Drawdown will begin in early November and 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 for the MWCD lakes are as follows:
Total Drawdown (feet)
Begin 2016 Drawdown
Release Duration (days)
Suggested intermediate refill schedule by
March 15, 2017
*Recharge typically initiates on February 1. Some select reservoirs will initiate recharge on February 15 depending on weather conditions, progress on construction projects and other factors.
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 major shoreline stabilization projects throughout five of the District’s reservoirs.
These reservoir maintenance activities are paid for through funds received from the current $5.5 million/year maintenance assessment. MWCD has budgeted over $1.65 million to complete 11 projects covering 5,650 feet of shoreline for the 2016-2017 reservoir maintenance program. These projects include:
Shoreline Stabilization Projects:
- Atwood - 2 separate projects totaling 900 feet along SR542 on the north side of the lake, between Whispering Pines Lane and Fawn Road and approximately 150 feet at Marina East.
- Leesville Glens cottage area – 800 ft long shoreline stabilization
- Piedmont Goodrich Cottage Area – 3 separate projects totaling 900 ft long shoreline stabilization
- Charles Mill Lake Park beach area – 3 separate projects totaling 1,700 ft long shoreline stabilization
- Pleasant Hill Richland Cottage Area – 1,200 ft long shoreline stabilization
Over the past six years, 102 projects covering 6.5 miles of shoreline have been stabilized on MWCD reservoirs at a cost of approximately $6.9 million. Stabilizing the shoreline provides many benefits including reduction of sediments from entering the lake which promotes water clarity. Many users of MWCD lakes have observed and commented over the past two years how clean the lakes have become since the initiation of this program.
An additional $192,000 will be expended on two other drawdown projects related to recreation and boating. These projects are funded through revenues received from oil and gas royalties and other general revenue. These projects include:
- Charles Mill Marina boat ramp replacement
- Leesville main launch ramp replacement near South Fork Marina.
Shown are two examples of shoreline stabilization construction projects on MWCD reservoirs from early 2016 drawdown operations.
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