Repair process ensures flood protection in Upper Ocklawaha River Basin

MAITLAND, Fla., May 19, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District has begun work to repair gates at the Burrell Spillway in Lake County. The spillway structure provides a controlled release of water from the Burrell Lock and Dam into Haynes Creek.

“Water control structures are critical in protecting people and property from the damage that flooding can cause,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “In addition to this project, we conduct regular maintenance on all structures so that we are prepared for heavy rainfall, especially during hurricane season.”

The purpose of the maintenance work is to repair the gaskets and concrete surfaces that have eroded over time. The work is necessary to ensure that any leaks are eliminated and that all gates are operational for continued flood control within the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin.

Because most of the structure is typically underwater,crews temporarily dried out half of the spillway to assess and complete the needed repairs. The area will then be reflooded, repeating the process on the second half of the structure. In total, four gaskets that surround the gates will be replaced; an epoxy coating will also be applied to the spillway’s concrete floor and walls.

Situated on district property, the Burrell Lock and Dam were constructed in 1957 to assist in flood control as well as the passage of fishing boats and pleasure crafts between Lake Eustis and Lake Griffin.

Normal lock operations will be unaffected by this work, but public access to the district-owned land surrounding the spillway is limited during the repairs.

The project’s estimated completion date is June 2016. The project cost is $55,293.

While the district works with local governments and other agencies before, during and after a flood event, the district has no ability to control water levels within communities because it does not have any water control structures within local drainage systems. However, the district does operate and maintain more than 100 major and minor water control structures, including 11 spillways, three navigational locks, approximately 300 miles of levees, and 30 pump stations.