POSTED: Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 6:14pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 8:57pm
We were all surprised when we got the press release from the city.
And the problem with the dam is a simple one.
I’ll give you a clue. It will require either a lot of money, or one Dutch boy..
The problem is, the Lake Tyler dam is 64 years old, built in 1949.
And technology then wasn’t what it is now.
And the dam is leaking.
Here’s the problem area. It’s at the bottom of the dam called the foot. It is seeping water at the rate of 30 gallons a minute.
And that sounds like a lot.
“At that flow rate, it would take over 91 years to lose a foot of water out of Lake Tyler,” says Greg Morgan of Tyler Water Utilities. “in addition to the seepage, we were beginning to see a small boil, which is where water surfaces and is transporting soil.”
Since rebuilding the dam is simply out of the question cost-wise, the water department will have to come up with a plan.
“I do not have a firm cost estimate at this time, nor do I have an exact construction schedule, but we do not anticipate it taking much more than 6 months,” Morgan says.
Right now Lake Tyler is about 3 feet below normal.
It’s not really due to the leak.
But, it could be worse.
“Two summers ago we got down 7 ½ feet, “ Morgan recalled, “and in 2006, Lake Tyler got 8 feet below spillway level.”