September 9, 2005 - Lake Murray residents and users are likely noticing that SCE&G has begun lowering Lake Murray in preparation for the fall and winter seasons.
Each year, SCE&G begins to lower the lake in early autumn to accommodate expected rainfall in late winter and early spring. SCE&G successfully managed the lake to a level of around 354 feet last winter, and will try to manage the lake to between 353 and 355 feet again this year. However, it's very likely that during the November-December time frame, SCE&G will be doing some maintenance work which will require that the lake be brought down to around 348 feet for about six or seven weeks. The maintenance work will involve repairs to "rip rap" on the upstream side of the dam. Rip rap is the material that helps protect the dam from erosion due to the lake's natural wave action. SCE&G will notify the public in advance of the work being performed.
To reach the 354 foot target, SCE&G will try to lower Lake Murray in increments of about one foot per month through November by increasing generation at its Saluda Hydroelectric Plant for the first 7 to 10 days of each month. Once the lake has dropped to the target level for the month, the company will try to hold the lake level steady for the remainder of the month by generating to match inflows to lake.
SCE&G's target elevations (which are subject to change) are as follows:
- September: 356 feet
- October: 355 feet
- November: 354 feet