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Lake Livingston Update: Trinity River Authority Cuts Back Releases from Lake Livingston Dam to 1,000 CFS.

LIVINGSTON, Texas -- During the early morning of Wednesday, September 28, the Trinity River Authority decreased water releases from Lake Livingston to 1,000 cubic feet per second down from 5,000 CFS on Tuesday. The Authority expects to remain at 1,000 CFS for the foreseeable future.

Rain in the Trinity River basin upstream from the dam or a need to further decrease the level of water in Lake Livingston may require an increase in water releases. Further updates will be issued, if needed.

The normal lake level is 131 feet above mean sea level. The lake level has been drawn down to 127 feet above mean sea level. The lake will remain at that level to insure the safety of the structure after the dam's earthen embankment was damaged by Hurricane Rita. Maintaining the lake at 127 feet will also facilitate repairs to the earthen embankment.

TRA began releasing water at the rate of 79,200 cubic feet per second from on Saturday, September 24, 2005 to lower the lake's water level. On Monday, releases were decreased to 20,000 cubic feet per second. On Tuesday releases were reduced to 5,000 CFS.

The lower lake level will eliminate any further erosion and allow TRA's engineers to make a thorough assessment of the damage caused by sustained high winds and wave action and develop a remediation plan.

Also on Tuesday, potential contractors took extensive tours of the dam and will be crafting proposals to carry out repairs. These proposals should be available within two weeks.

Surveyors also toured the dam on Tuesday and will begin documenting the dam's existing condition today. This will facilitate determining the volume of materials that will be required to make repairs.

Lake Livingston Dam, constructed across the Trinity River approximately seven miles southwest of the city of Livingston, is 2 1/2 miles in length and has an average height of 55 feet. The dam is an earthen embankment with 12 tainter gates for releasing water. The earthen embankment is protected from water erosion by rip rap, large 30 inch diameter stones, on the lake side of the dam.

The high winds and significant wave action brought by Hurricane Rita damaged the dam's earthen embankment eroding approximately 11,000 feet of the rip rap on the lake side of the dam, and exposing a significant area of the earthen embankment. Some erosion to the earthen embankment has also occurred.

After a thorough inspection, Lake Livingston Dam has been declared stable by a dam inspector from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Built, owned and operated by the Trinity River Authority of Texas (TRA), Lake Livingston is the largest lake constructed solely for water supply purposes located totally within the State of Texas. The lake covers approximately 83,000 surface acres, with a normal pool elevation of 131 feet above mean sea level.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 28, 2005
Words:478
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