The Broad River Soil and Water Conservation District is beginning a $2 million rehabilitation of the South River Watershed Dam 29 in Madison County.
This dam has been classified as a “high hazard dam” by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Safe Dam Program. Essentially, a dam becomes a high hazard dam, if in the event of a dam failure there are existing structures downstream in the dam failure breach zone where the associated flooding could potentially cause loss of life.
“Dam 29 does not meet current dam safety requirements; however, the on-going rehabilitation construction will allow this dam to be compliant with state dam safety regulations,” Michael Wald, communications/information resource specialist for the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission.
Current regulations require that high hazard dams accommodate approximately 15 inches of rain in six hours.
The selected rehabilitation option for Dam 29 will be the installation of a concrete structure through the existing dam embankment capable of safely withstanding such a storm.
North Georgia Concrete has been selected as the contractor for this project. This company has offices in Dahlonega and Fayetteville. The rehab project will involve primarily the installation of a concrete chute spillway with labyrinth weir, through the dam embankment. The structure will have a width of 78 feet and a length of 164 feet, requiring approximately 3500 cubic yards of reinforced concrete. The existing auxiliary spillway will be modified using conventional fill material.
Proposed construction time is estimated to be 300 days. Construction began on March 13.
Dam 29 is the second dam to be upgraded for dam safety. Construction was completed for the rehabilitation of South River Watershed Dam 4, in the summer of 2011.
The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (http://gaswcc.georgia.gov) provides technical assistance to Conservation Districts as part of a state watershed program that was initiated to give financial and technical assistance to ensure that the state’s dams maintain their structural integrity, operate effectively to continue providing community services, and comply with the Georgia Safe Dams Act.