Monday, October 3, 2011

What Is That In The Rez?

A reader sent an email asking about the equipment floating on the surface of The Rez near the Yacht Club.  The markers etc. can be seen from the upper road looking toward the Yacht Club just after passing the Water Intake structure.

We suspected what was being seen was discharge lines from the dredging activity occurring on the Madison County side of the lake - but wanted an official word.  So we asked the PRV for an answer, an estimated completion date and what other dredging activities might be planned. 

PRVWSD Chief Engineer, Greg Burgess, provided us with the following information.

What is being seen is related to dredge work adjacent to Old Trace Park, Overlook Pointe Subdivision, and Pointe Clear.

This is our current dredge project that we are working on and has been permitted by the United States Corps of Engineers (USACE). 

(The Press Release for the project can be seen here - Ed.)

As for timing, the dredge process is a hard one to estimate; there are too many unknown factors to be able to give a fair estimate, i.e. weather, debris in the channel, equipment issues, issues with the controls in the water, etc.

One of the biggest obstacles in dredging is having a disposal area for the dredged material. There was not enough land availability adjacent to the project for placement on land; an island was not needed in this area. The disposal area for this project is in the original river channel, which is the deepest part of the lake.

We are using a portion of the original channel near the Madison Landing boat ramp. That area is currently encompassed by our turbidity curtain. You indicated that this is the first time that you have seen this done on the reservoir concerning the disposal area; this discharge technique is new for us as well; however, this is a common practice for the USACE.

As for the next area to be dredged, we are currently scheduled to resume dredging the Northshore adjacent to Parcels M and N which is the only other area with a dredging permit from the USACE; however, we are currently pursuing USACE permission for other areas to be dredged.

To help in this process and with the dredging program in the future, we are developing a process to prioritize channels throughout the lake to determine a future schedule of dredging activities. As you can imagine with a lake our size and with the number of residences bordering the lake, this prioritization is an arduous task and will take time to develop.

There will be more from us in the future as we develop this prioritization process and schedule; once we have gotten further into this process, we anticipate having a public meeting to discuss this prioritization process and to solicit input from the public.

One item for which we will definitely be seeking public input is potential disposal areas for the dredged materials. For example, are there areas that the public would like to see islands in the future.


Greg Burgess
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District 

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

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