The Ardmore City Commission voted to spend more than $1.8 million on an assessment of the dams at two of its lakes, City Lake and Mountain Lake. Both dams are approximately 100 years old and are showing signs of leakage and erosion. This assessment will determine exactly what the issues are at both dams as well as detailing what caused the issues. The project will also give options and prices on the best fixes to the problems.
Director of Utilities Shawn Geurin outlined some of the issues taking place at the dams.
“We know at City Lake dam when we reach a certain level of water elevation a leak appears on the back that causes erosion,” Guerin said. “We don’t know what’s causing it. It could be a tree root or it could be a pipe. Part of what we’re paying them for is to find out what (it is).”
Geurin said the dam at Mountain Lake is showing significant erosion downstream from the spillway, and because of the dam’s age — and lack of many plans about its construction — the city is unsure of its overall condition.
“The condition of the concrete slabs and buttresses are not known at this time,” Geurin said. “It was built in 1922 and there aren’t a whole lot of plans on this stuff to determine how it was built and to what strength it was built.”
Guerin said once all the testing of the dams has been completed, the city will be presented with options and the costs of needed repairs. He acknowledged that the $1.8 million is only for the assessment of the dams. Once the assessment is complete the city can then choose how to best correct the problems.
“The end game is to finish up this phase so we can get those options that we can choose from so we can work on budgetary numbers and move on to design.” Geurin said. “Then we’ll then be coming back for design fees, and it won’t be cheap.”
Despite the high costs, Guerin said the city has been anticipating this and the project was included in the budget for the fiscal year.
“This is in our budget and is exactly what we budgeted,” Geurin said. “This is a lot of money. We don’t take this lightly, and we’ve been working on it for a long time. But this is the next phase of making repairs to our water cycle and hopefully we’ll get another hundred years out of them.”
The assessment is scheduled to begin September 9 and the estimated completion date is July 1, 2020.