Report due on how to fix Lake Manatee dam

Posted by SARA KENNEDY on March 31, 2014 

MANATEE -- A report addressing proposed repairs to the eroding Lake Manatee Dam is slated for Thursday during a Manatee County Commission meeting, officials said.

The county utilities staff and its consultant are slated to give a presentation at 1:30 p.m. Thursday outlining recommendations, according to Nick Azzara, the county information outreach manager.

The report will take place during the afternoon portion of a regularly-scheduled land use meeting, he said.

"As we've stated before, we cannot reveal the consultant's recommendation in the media prior to advising the commission," Azzara said Monday.

An investigation into the best way to deal with erosion threatening the stability of the county's East Manatee dam has been under way for weeks.

The county engineer of record is Carollo Engineers Inc., of Sarasota. Its consulting firm is AMEC, of Tampa.

Experts are expected to outline the best repair options, coupled with a recommendation about which construction company to use.

Once a formal recommendation is made, the commission is expected to decide whether to approve a repair contract.

County officials announced in February that engineers had found areas of erosion underwater on the downstream side of the dam that could potentially compromise it if there were significant rainfall. As a short-term remedy, officials released water through the dam, lowering the level of Lake Manatee and thus reducing pressure on the structure, as they investigated the cause of the problems and possible fixes.

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The dam supplies water through a treatment plant at 7914 Waterline Road to the county utility system.

Manatee County's utility system supplies drinking water to residents, and sells Sarasota County more than half its water as well.

The dam, completed in 1967, created the 1,800-acre Lake Manatee reservoir, which stores 7.5 billion gallons of water.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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