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Engineers analyzing Archusa Dam leak

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
March 3, 2001
QUITMAN Pat Harrison Waterway District officials are monitoring a small leak in the new emergency spillway at Archusa Lake which re-opened last year.
In early January 1998, heavy rains washed out the emergency spillway. The lake was closed for more than two years as local, state, Pat Harrison and federal leaders worked to come up $1.7 million to: 1) build a large cement structure in the emergency spillway area that would not wash away again; and 2) lower the spillway dam so the lake wouldn't flood into people's yards.
Archusa Lake re-opened last spring after the work was completed. However, a leak was recently found in one of the expansion joints of the emergency spillway, and PHWD officials are not taking any chances.
Engineer Terrell Temple, who designed the project, has installed equipment to find out where the water is coming from. Once that has been determined, he said, action will be taken.
The lake is currently in its winter pool, and lake water is not draining through the emergency spillway. Temple thinks the water coming through the expansion joints is probably from the earlier seepage, which is believed to be a spring.
Most likely, the remedy will involve installing a new drainage system along the side of the spillway to divert water.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.