The Augusta area includes hundreds of dams sprawled across farmland, subdivisions and golf courses – yet only a handful meet the criteria for classification as a “high hazard” Category I structure.
The newest addition to the list of dams where a failure could cause “a probable loss of human life” is in Columbia County, where the Windmill Plantation subdivision dam in Evans was reclassified from a low hazard to a Category I high hazard dam last year.
The August 2012 change was based on the businesses built along William Few Parkway since the dam’s last inspection, said Pam Tucker, the director of the county’s Emergency & Operations Division.
The change in status doesn’t mean the structure is in danger of failure or in poor condition, but that more homes and businesses have been built in its downgrade path.
“The Greenbrier Preschool and Daycare Center and the homes at 2983 and 2985 William Few Parkway located approximately 500 feet downstream of the dam have been judged to be within the dam failure zone,” wrote EPD Director Judson Turner, in a Sept. 7, 2012, letter to the Windmill Property Owners Association.
Another Category I dam in Columbia County is in Woodbridge subdivision. The 33-acre lake, built in 1973, was modified after the Safe Dams Act was adopted.
Columbia County’s other two Category I dams are Erin’s Plan Lake Dam and Vernin Pond Dam, Tucker said.
Richmond County has at least six Category I dams: Goshen Plantation Lake Dam, Lake Aumond Dam, Augusta Tech Retention Pond Dam, Forest Hills Lake Dam, Wrightsboro Road Detention Pond Dam and Tobacco Road Water Treatment Plant Dam.