SCE&G to partially drain Lake Murray - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

SCE&G to partially drain Lake Murray

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

In an effort to enhance the water quality of Lake Murray, South Carolina Electric & Gas plans to gradually lower the lake beginning in early November.

Weather permitting, the lake will be lowered until it reaches the 350-foot level near Dec. 1, 2013, which is approximately 8 feet below the normal high pool level.

It will be maintained at that level until Jan. 1, 2014, after which it will be allowed to rise back to the normal pool level of 358 feet.

In years past, periodic drawdowns to similar levels were conducted that allowed rain to "scour" shallow coves which greatly benefits water quality. The last draw-down such as this was conducted in 2006.

"Our objective is to benefit the long term water quality of Lake Murray," said Jim Landreth, vice president of SCE&G's Fossil and Hydro Plant Operations. "This method has proven effective in the past, but Mother Nature has not allowed us this type of draw-down for awhile. The time has come for us to do it again."

"An added benefit to the drawdown is that this will give lake residents and businesses roughly a month at the lower level to make dock repairs and shoreline improvements that are permitted by SCE&G's Lake Murray Shoreline Management Plan," continued Landreth. "We encourage them to start planning now."

The draw-down may also benefit certain fish species, according to SCDNR. "From a fisheries management standpoint, there is evidence that a winter draw-down of a reservoir may benefit certain shoreline spawning species, such as crappie, once the reservoir returns to full pool in the spring," said Fisheries Biologist Hal Beard.

An SCE&G spokesperson says the company has been meeting with those who live and operate businesses around the lake to share details of the drawdown plan.

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