Winter 'drawdown' of MWCD lakes begins in November as usual

November 2, 2010

Winter ‘drawdown’ to begin at MWCD reservoirs


Winter “drawdown” of the reservoirs managed by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) will begin in November as usual.


As part of the flood risk management operation of the system of reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) temporarily will reduce the depth levels of the permanent reservoirs behind the dams during the upcoming winter months.


The drawdown for 2010-11 will begin Nov. 1 at several reservoirs and will range from reductions of 3 feet to 8 feet, said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD chief engineer. A gradual return to normal summer depth levels will begin in February 2011 in time for the recreation season.


The depth reductions by reservoir, the amount of the reduction and the date the drawdown is expected to begin follows:


* Atwood Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 15

* Charles Mill Lake – 3 feet – Dec. 1

* Clendening Lake – 5 feet – Nov. 15

* Leesville Lake – 5 feet – Nov. 15

* Piedmont Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 15

* Pleasant Hill Lake – 6 feet – Dec. 1

* Seneca Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 1

* Tappan Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 15

Slogar said the USACE annually reduces the depth levels of the reservoirs during the winter months.

Shoreline stabilization projects at Atwood, Seneca and Tappan lakes are the reasons for the 8-foot reductions at those reservoirs, Slogar said.


The USACE owns and operates the dams and handles management of the reservoir depth levels for flood risk management. The MWCD manages 54,000 acres of the water and land located behind the dams. The USACE and MWCD work together through a partnering agreement for management of the system of reservoirs and dams for flood risk management and water conservation.


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 Basin, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $8 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government.


For more information about the MWCD, visit


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