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lymorej

Where Will All The Water Go

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Honestly, the I "think" the problem with Beaver based my involvement with Corps, research, and Engineering  background is simply with inflows for the lake being much greater than older hydraulic models used to construct the dam.  I don't think there are any true structural problems with any of our dams in the white River system.  The amount of data and empirical models used to figure these flows may have been drastically off and not taken into account all the major development of the watershed.   

It is true there are leaks in some, but these are relatively small and monitored closely  for changes.  The leak on bull shoals most people think of is due to an actual sinkhole in Jimmy creek near the dam.   When the dam was built it backed water up above the sink hole giving it a constant flow of water.  The water discharges a few miles below the dam in a field before running down to the river.  It was always rumored as a leak but has been dye traced to the underwater sinkhole.

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There is no way possible that anyone could have predicted the present development of Rogers back at that time. Where the Dixieland Mall and the Walmart is now was cow pasture and cornfields at the time, Bentonville ended north of 102; must be a kazillion acres of pavement causing runoff now that didn't exist then; but the majority of all that development drains west into the Osage Creek, along with all the treated sewage- so would have no effect on Beaver. Much of the development of Bentonville and Centerton also hit that Illinois R. drainage, with the rest going into the Elk R. I believe all of Springdale and almost all of Fayetteville drain west as well. My guess is development hasn't had major impact on Beaver.

What has changed a lot over the last 60 years in the Elk drainage and so presumably in the White drainage as well, is the time it takes for rainfall to perk through the hills and become runoff. Numbers of small sink holes have developed where there were none and the bluffs are deteriorating, I have about a a dozen "wet weather springs" that did not exist 35 years ago and maybe 30 new sink holes, bluff over hangs that were  dry enough for hay storage in the '60s drip now and are growing holes and hangdowns.  Rain over 2'' perks out in about 1-2 hours. not just on my land either I see it all through the drainage. If the areas of the upper White have the same increase in through flow, that would have a major effect on how fast water gets to the pond.

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It appears Beaver did have a problem that they fixed back in the 90s. Too much seepage under the main earthen part that had been a problem since the lake filled. A new secant pile wall had to be constructed. See link below. Interesting read and seems it was an experimental method basically that has worked. These projects take years or even decades to get done. Maybe the new spillway was insurance if Beaver seepage couldn't be fixed or to account for runoff from Springfield. Probably a mix of a lot of things including the idea that engineers just didn't have the data and computer horsepower we do now. I won't talk about computer models, that's a sore subject for me right now. Also fwiw, Ameren UE just finished a $55 million project at Bagnell Dam. Added weight in the form of a bunch of new concrete and more anchors to the dam. Seems like a little more than routine maintenance.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a303380.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiljIek8snpAhVIeKwKHYe0DmAQFjADegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw2isE5VvWMkkT38WdjIeuYS

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You guys are giving me goosebumps!

Witnessing the amount of "acceptable" leakage in a major dam for the first time can be a little disconcerting.

First time I went down inside to the bottom of Truman I thought I was gonna die there for sure!

Not for the claustrophobic but pretty exhilarating to an ol' country boy.

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I remember when they did that pile wall at Beaver, I was fishing that tail water regularly back then. But as I recall they weren't too worried about losing the dam over the seepage, at least they didn't talk about it as being an immediate concern. 

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Basically all dams leak.  The key is controlling it and directing it.  All th COE Dams underwent recalculations of the maximum probable flood events based on modern records of rainfall.  As a result many were determined to be lacking in height and mass.  They were classified into categories ranked for priority of repairs.  The high priority ones are being raised, enlarged, strengthened etc.  The costs are very high.

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To change the subject just a little.

I could have never hacked being a submariner.  Cruising around on top seemed like prison with a chance of drowning.  Being 300 or 1000 foot under wouldn't be acceptable to this hillbilly.  Especially about the time they started throwing depth charges.  Drowning is one of my nightmares.

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