Toledo Public Works Director Adam Denlinger told his city council Wednesday night that there could be a small leak in the Mill Creek Dam. But he wants everyone to know “there is no danger to the dam itself or to anyone.” Denlinger said they’re not sure exactly where the leak is coming from but they think it’s between five and ten gallons an hour. Denlinger said his best educated guess as for a source is one of the main supply tubes that delivers water to Mill Creek and which is routed into the city’s main water intake system during the winter months when the Siletz River yield is low due to elevated turbidity.
Denlinger says the leak could be in the liner of the buried pipe, and that a fix would be fairly straight-forward, using money from the city’s reserve utility fund. But he also told NewsLincolnCounty.com that it could be a simple case of groundwater moving through the area just slightly uphill from the dam’s main outflow “valve gallery.”
Denlinger said again that there is no eminent danger to the dam. He said it was built in the mid-1960’s and was fortified with a lot of rock and gravel, so it’s not just a dirt hill in front of an 88 million gallon lake. He said they will shut off the delivery pipe which is underwater at the uphill side of the dam. They will then send a small TV camera through it to see if there are any spots that look like leaks; if there are any leaks, they’ll fix them.
The bottom picture illustrates that there is considerable groundwater movement in the area which is what the picture shows on one of the above-ground overflow pipes. “So, it might just be ground water which is no big deal,” Denlinger said.
No matter which way the issue goes, Denlinger says they’ll have the issue resolved and a fix in place by December.