Repairs totaled 50-percent of original dam construction.

Spring rains soon will have ponds brim-full.  Does your lake have a flood control pipe? Is it a metal pipe? Are you seeing rusted areas?  If the answer is yes, climb to the top of the dam, call your dirt contractor, and schedule an inspection at your earliest convenience.

Examine the pipe in front and behind the dam for seepage.  Early detection can save devastating consequences.  Old pipes can be sealed with concrete before they blow-out.  Such cases may require constructing a new spillway, but it’s better than losing the dam, the lake, and fish.

Our colleague, Mike Otto, recommends checking metal overflow pipes monthly, particularly if the pond carries above-average runoff.  If you’re building a new pond, Mike suggests not using metal pipe.  There are preferred options.  Repairing damaged pipe is a tedious job.  Work is often in extremely close quarters and a race against the clock to save the lake.

“Once water exercises its power through movement,” Mike explained, “there is just no simple way to block it until Mother Nature finishes showing us who’s boss.”

Pipe failure drained the 20-acre lake within hours.

This 60-inch pipe through the dam was sealed with concrete. The emergency spillway was widened to relieve future flooding.