Officials investigate reservoir dam leak - - Jackson, MS

Officials investigate reservoir dam leak

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By Bert Case - bio | email

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The main dam holds back a 33,000-acre lake formed by the Pearl River.  The story was first reported in a Rankin County newspaper, The Weekly Leader, in a story done by Linda Horton.

When WLBT called reservoir manager, John Sigman, about the leak, he said he would be happy to talk with us about it and take us to the location, which he did.

"It's not a boil, it's just a leak.  It's seeping, and it is moving some material, and we want to control that.  We don't envision surrounding it, but we do envision some excavation taking place," said Sigman. 

Sigman told us every dam leaks, it is just a matter of control.  The engineering company which originally built the dam in the early 1960's was hired to inspect the dam every year.  The dam is also inspected on a weekly basis by Steve Clark, a special projects officer for the reservoir.

Sigman said the reservoir is spending time and money to find out what the problem is and how to fix it.

"You are not concerned this dam could ever break, are you John?" we asked.

"I don't think this dam will ever break.  Under the right conditions, it might, but any dam can break as the state dam safety engineer will tell you, but we don't envision that being a problem here," said Sigman.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, which operates the reservoir, has voted to hire a company to investigate the leak and determine how to fix it.  That contract is for $100,000.

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