Corps to maintain lower river level near downtown Augusta

Decrease to help lock and dam

If the Savannah River seems a little low, it is. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it will stay that way.

The river channel along downtown Augusta was lowered three feet – from 115.5 feet above sea level to 112.5 feet – to accommodate a June 19 herbicide application.

Although the pool was partly restored after the weed control program was completed, officials plan to hold the elevation at 114 feet above sea level, corps spokesman Billy Birdwell said.

The lower pool will take some of the pressure off the gates at New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, which has become dilapidated and less reliable in recent years. The project has been awaiting federal renovation funding for almost a decade.

“It is a little bit lower, but this level is still right in the middle of our published operating guide,” Birdwell said. “Lately, it has been closer to the maximum of our operating guide.”

Although the water will remain slightly lower, any exposed shoreline will quickly revegetate, he said.

The pool level in the Augusta area is controlled by the dam at New Savannah Bluff – not releases from Thurmond Lake upstream.

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