Recently a local resident sent The Sun Times an email with some questions they had regarding the work being done on the dam.  Here are the questions and the responses from the Corps. Hope this answers everyone’s concerns about the work being done.

What are they doing to the gates? Answer: Routine maintenance work that we schedule every 10-15 years.  The work includes repainting the gates, replacing the side seals, replacing the bottom sill, installing cathodic protection on the gates, repairing grout and repairing welds as needed.

Are they sandblasting the paint off? Answer: Yes, We capture the paint chips and test for lead content.

What is the reason for the lead warning sign? Answer: Because there is potential for lead in the paint. Testing so far has indicated that the paint chips are lead free.

How are they preventing the lead from getting in the water? Answer: None of the removed paint has tested positive for lead but we collect and test the paint chips to ensure that the water is not contaminated.

Are they putting some new kind of coating on the gates? Answer: We are repainting with a vinyl paint system we commonly use on the metal portion of our dams especially metal that is in contact with the water.

How many gates are there?  Answer: Six gates called tainter gates.

Are they working on all gates simultaneously or only one at a time? Answer: One at a time. Greers Ferry Lake only has one bulkhead. The bulkhead holds back the water that is normally on a tainter gate.  Only one gate is allowed to be out of service at a time in case the lake rises quickly and water needs to be released through the tainter gates.

Do they have a coffer dam on the lake side, and if so, why is it needed? Answer: There is no coffer dam on the lake side instead each dam has a moveable bulkhead. The bulkhead keeps the water off the work areas so the tainter gate can be opened and maintenance performed while the bulkhead holds back the water normally on the gate.