Offering fishing, kayaking, and canoeing as well as a water supply, Lake Brandt is an 816-acre municipal reservoir operated by the City of Greensboro. The lake’s 39-foot-high dam consists of an earthen embankment, gated concrete spillway, and sluiceway to convey water to the downstream pumping station. Over the years, Schnabel has performed a number of studies and evaluations to help keep the dam safe and operational.

Located on a tributary of Reedy Fork Creek in Guilford County, Lake Brandt is one of three lakes that serve as the primary water supply for Greensboro. The dam’s spillway features eight 25-foot-wide by 10-foot-high vertical lift roller gates for control of spillway releases. Our work on projects to support its operations include annual safety inspections; rehabilitation of the upstream riprap wave protection; dewatering and detailed structural inspection of the spillway gates, stems, and operators; structural evaluation of the pumping station sluiceway, gates, and mechanical components; and drilling of the concrete gravity dam and seepage/stability evaluations.

The flooding that South Carolina experienced following Hurricane Joaquin in early October 2015 prompted the city to take a closer look at the condition and operations of its own water supply dams. The city concluded that Lake Brandt Dam’s current condition, long-term needs, and gate operations plan warranted closer attention.

To address these concerns, we reviewed the current gate operations plan and performed a risk assessment of Lake Brandt Dam, which resulted in recommendations for modifications to the current gate operations plan and long-term risk reduction measures. We also performed a cursory evaluation of alternatives to rehabilitate or replace the dam in the future so that funding can be allocated in Greensboro’s long term capital improvement plan.

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