It was only this past winter that the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] was rushing to complete valve repairs on Lake Echo in time for early Spring rains to refill the lake — rains that proved unequal to the task.
Little did the board know, as they paid the hefty sum to pump water from Lake Sequoia into Lake Echo in March, that Mother Nature was planning a continuous deluge during month of June.
Seven Lakes' 2013 monsoon season has continued into July with a daily chance of thunderstorms. For the first time in recent memory, the lakes have been as much as six to eight inches over full pond.
During their Monday, July 15 work session the SLLA Board discussed issues raised by the full-to-the-brim lakes. Recognizing that the discussion would benefit from professional advice, they tabled several items until the following night, during a special meeting (scheduled to discuss bylaws). The day's delay would give SLLA management and the Lakes and Dam Committee time to seek recommendations.
Ramapo overflow pipe needs work
SLLA Manager Ray Sohl reported that a recent engineering study found that one of the outlet pipes on Lake Ramapo dam had failed. The engineer reported to Sohl that the three drain pipes that are still working are not sufficient to lower the water level at the recommended rate.
The engineer recommended a thorough structural assessment of Ramapo; and a repair proposal would then be presented to the NC Dam Safety Office with a request that the dam be released from the state’s jurisdiction for necessary repairs.
“The engineer would provide a cost option to repair the overflow systems or to redesign the overflow with a siphon installed for drainage,” Sohl said.
The Dam Safety office of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources has jurisdiction over dams.
“Releasing the dam from the state’s jurisdiction for repairs would be ideal.” Sohl said. “The cost should be infinitely less to design it and repair it.”
Sohl reminded the Board that, during the repair of Little Juniper Dam, “the state required an engineer at $50 per hour to be on site.”