U.S. TVA draws down reservoir for dam safety seismic study of 160-MW Pickwick Landing Dam

Pickwick Landing Dam

The Tennessee Valley Authority is accelerating the annual drawdown of the reservoir of 160-MW Pickwick Landing Dam in the Southeast United States for a dam safety seismic study.

TVA said Sept. 10 that initial results from testing and core drilling suggest a remote chance that the earthen embankment south of the concrete portion of the dam could be damaged by a large earthquake. Pickwick Landing, in west Tennessee, northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama, is a few hundred miles from the New Madrid Seismic Zone along the Mississippi River.

TVA began "health checks" of its 49 dams more than a year ago as part of a continuous improvement program. The study checks the integrity of the concrete and earthen embankments against today's stringent industry standards.

Lower lake levels at Pickwick Landing will allow TVA to conduct more detailed analysis and testing over the next several months to determine what would be necessary to strengthen the south embankment against large seismic events.

"Public safety is our top priority," TVA Vice President of River Operations John McCormick said. "Because large earthquakes can't be predicted, we're taking immediate action to enhance the continued safety of the public and our employees."

Pickwick Landing Reservoir levels are expected to reach winter pool by mid-October, which is about six weeks earlier than normal. Water levels downstream of Pickwick Landing Dam on Kentucky Reservoir will not be affected, TVA said.

Pickwick Landing Dam was designed and built in the 1930s. The concrete portion includes the powerhouse, spillways and two navigation locks with long earthen embankments on each side. The south embankment is about 4,000 feet long.

TVA said last year it averted more than $800 million in flood damages to communities along the Tennessee River and its tributaries through its dam management programs in January 2013.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs