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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Media News Releases Archives April-June 2004

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News Release: May 26, 2004 Print this page
Docket Numbers: P-516

Saluda Dam Reservoir To Be Raised Earlier Than Expected

After determining that the remediation work at the Saluda Dam in South Carolina is ahead of schedule and the dam is responding positively to the construction of the backup dam, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cleared the way this week for SCE&G to begin to raise the water level in the Lake Murray reservoir, cutting in half the impact on recreation-related activities.

The remediation is necessary to ensure that the dam can withstand an earthquake the size of the Charleston quake of 1886, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale.

Chairman Pat Wood, III, commented, "When I toured the site last November, I was impressed by the incredible work going on there. I congratulate the Commission's dam safety staff and the licensee's team on achieving this goal in record time, all while ensuring the public is protected."

The water level will be raised from its current level (345 to 347 feet) to 351 feet and held there until the last segment of foundation backfilling is complete. With a continued positive response of the dam, the reservoir refilling will continue to its seasonal level. The amount of rainfall the area receives will determine how fast the reservoir will be brought up to the desired level.

The lowering of the reservoir, which was determined by experts to reduce the risks of dam failure during critical phases of construction, facilitated the construction of a massive backup dam that is designed to retain the Lake Murray reservoir under the impact of another Charleston-size quake.

The entire remediation effort is expected to be completed in spring 2005.


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