Rough River preliminary dam investigation begins

Published Dec. 17, 2007

Louisville, KY -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District has begun preliminary subsurface explorations at Rough River dam. The proactive exploratory drilling and testing program will be used to analyze the dam and determine if undesirable seepage could develop.

Through its Dam Safety program, the Army Corps of Engineers has received funds to conduct exploratory investigations at several of its dams within the district’s five-state area. The Rough River dam inspection includes an exploration of the layers of foundation soils beneath the dam. Layers of material such as soil, clay and sand and their permeability will be examined.

The exploration programs consist of drilling small diameter holes into the ground and retrieving soil and rock samples for lab testing. Additional instrumentation to detect water levels within the dam embankment is being installed. These samples and test results will be used to perform further engineering evaluations and compared to existing and new instrumentation data.

The Louisville District annually inspects all its district reservoir dams. A more intensive team inspection occurs every five years through its Dam Safety program. Through these on-going inspections and evaluations of instrumentation readings within the dams, Rough River Lake dam was recommended for further subsurface exploration and study. Similar field work has already been completed at J.E. Roush Lake and the Salamonie Lake in north eastern Indiana.

Visitors to the area may have observed equipment on the dam and beneath the dam. Equipment for the exploration field testing includes small drill rigs that will be on site near the top of the dam. Other work recently completed at Rough River Lake dam included raising of the dam, rock toe repairs and installation of a cut off wall at the base of the dam; all had been ongoing to maintain and improve the dam.

Release no. 07-002

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