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Shaker Heights City News

Posted on: July 28, 2020

Lower Lake: Spillway Under Investigation

Lower Lake dam in Shaker Heights, Ohio

In 2019, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District made various repairs to the Lower Lake dam and spillway based on Ohio Department of Natural Resource requirements. This included the installation of new stone along the western bank, placement of a staff gauge to measure the water depth, and minor re-grading.

Earlier this year, Lower Lake was lowered to complete some final "punch list" items for this project. At the time, NEORSD noted some additional deterioration of the masonry spillway. As a result, the City’s engineer began monitoring the condition of the spillway. In early July, the engineer observed that water was not going over the spillway, but rather through the deteriorated vertical face of the structure. So that the engineer could perform a thorough investigation, the City again lowered the water level in the lake. This inspection took place in mid-July and the lake has since been refilled.

The City is now waiting for the engineer’s recommendations to determine whether or not it is necessary to drain Lower Lake again to make any repairs to the spillway. As a reminder, Lower Lake is a Class 1 dam meaning failure of the dam will result in loss of life and property downstream. It is imperative the City inspects the structure for safety and performs any repairs as recommended by the engineer.    

Please also note that the lake is drained by opening a valve. When the lake is ready to be refilled, the City closes the valve and the lake slowly returns to its normal depth. The rate this will happen is dependent on rain fall. 

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