Sanford Lake Draw Down Q&A

At the recent SLA annual picnic the SLA Board agreed to take the questions posed from our members back to Boyce Hydro for answers. We have received their responses and are posted below.

1. Could Boyce start work on October 15th or October 1st rather than Sept 15?

Given the nature of the construction work that is necessary at the Edenville spillway, Boyce Hydro would actually be justified in commencing the work on the 15thof August rather than waiting until the 15th of September. However, in deference to property owners in the area, Boyce has convinced FERC that delaying the start until the middle of September will provide sufficient time to commence and complete the necessary emergency repairs.

The general public should understand that serious damage has occurred to the concrete structures associated with the spillways at the Edenville powerhouse, which if not corrected before the spillways are required to be engaged in the event of severe flooding, would in fact present an unacceptable risk of further damage and potential collapse of the spillway structure resulting from the release of large volumes of water through the tainter gates. As was the case with severe leakage through the dike at the Sanford Dam in August 2010, the condition at the Edenville spillway structure represents a clear and present danger to dam safety.
2. How confident is Boyce that there won’t be delays or not getting completed by Spring?

To the extent that Boyce Hydro is able to rely on the cooperation of the MDEQ in issuing a permit for the construction repair project, and to the extent Boyce Hydro does not experience the effects of “mission creep” emanating from FERC regarding the scope of the repair project, Boyce Hydro expects construction to be completed by the 15th of November. The contractors we are hiring have experience in this type of work, and absent any unusual weather delays, should be able to maintain the schedule for completion.

3. Why is this different than other work on the Edenville Dam that has been delayed.

The Edenville powerhouse spillway structure has been physically compromised by the spring flooding of 2016. The work associated with this event is an emergency repair. The Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) mitigation project, which at some point must be constructed at the Edenville Dam, is a project which FERC believes is necessary to reduce long-term potential risk of dam erosion in the event of a flood that statistically has been calculated to occur once in a hundred thousand years. Thus, it is not regarded as an immediate dam safety risk for downstream property owners. The final design for the first phase of PMF mitigation construction is still subject to Boyce Hydro obtaining approval from the MDEQ, and final design approval from FERC.

Michele G. Mueller
10120 W Flamingo Rd, Ste 4 #192
Las Vegas, NV 89147
(702) 367-7302 (tel.)
(702) 367-3440 (fax)

In Michigan:
6000 S. M-30
PO Box 15
Edenville, MI 48620
(989) 689-3161 (tel.)
(989) 689-3155 (fax)