Our region is recording the third-highest rainfall on record. We’re just now approaching normal wet months. Does your lake have a corrugated metal flood control pipe? Are you seeing rusted areas? If the answer is yes, contact your dirt contractor and schedule an inspection. Stressful discharge pressure can rupture pipe seams and jeopardize the integrity of your dam.
Examine the pipe in front and behind the dam for seepage. Some installations can be sealed before they blow out. Conditions may require constructing a new spillway, but it’s better than losing the dam, lake, and fish. Check overflow pipes monthly, especially if the pond carries above-average runoff.
One memorable example occurred in West Texas. The 20-year-old lake was 24-acres. It had a 4,200-acre water shed. Four to 6-foot rises were common. In May 2010, the area experienced back-to-back deluges. After one event, the ranch manager had a premonition and went to investigate. On arrival, he observed adjacent photos. His favorite fishing hole was gone. Corroded welding seams at the base of the flood control pipe split during torrential discharge through the 8-foot diameter pipe. Water drained-out beside a 5-foot pipe through the dam and virtually emptied the lake. The 5-foot pipe was filled with concrete. The spillway was widened for future flood water management.
Repairing damaged pipe is a tedious job. Work is demanding, often in extremely close quarters, and a race against the clock to save the lake.
If building a new lake, research materials other than metal pipe.