Dam supplying water to Mammoth Cave leaking


Associated Press |

The ground under a dam supplying water for Mammoth Cave National Park and about 50,000 people in parts of four southern Kentucky counties is slowly eroding and in need of repair.

Green Valley Water District Manager David Paige said it’s hard to tell how much water is leaking from the ground below the dam.

“It changes from time to time, depending on how full the spring is,” Paige said.

The water comes from the Rio Verde Spring and supplies water to Hart County and parts of LaRue, Green and Taylor counties. Paige told The Daily News (http://bit.ly/15gyCAL) the dam itself is in good shape and the stone and masonry materials are holding up.

The district will get a $1.175 million low-interest loan from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to pay for the work.

The dam’s depth is 20 feet and it is about 100 feet long. The area that needs repair is a relatively small section. To make the repairs, a temporary dam of sandbags would be built near the spring and pipes laid to divert the water around the dam.

Rob Gates, water management coordinator at the Barren River Area Development District, said the dam is not at the stage where failure is imminent.

“What we are afraid of is if that water continues to leak through the rock formation, and if it is not repaired, over time it will eat that out,” Paige said.

Paige estimates the district treats about 4 million gallons of water a day.

Getting the water from the river would cost more to treat, and it would have a different taste, Paige said.

“It definitely tastes better because it is virtually contaminant free. The water quality is just much better,” he said of the Rio Verde Spring.


Information from: Daily News, http://www.bgdailynews.com


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