What Lexington County landmark is man-made, uses one of the world’s most abundant natural resources and helps bring electricity to your home every day?
If you guessed the Lake Murray dam, great job. If not, you’re not alone.
Unless you interact with a dam on a daily basis, you probably don’t give it a lot of thought. The good news is that SCE&G has been giving our dams a lot of thought, and a lot of care, for decades.
Each year, our chief dam safety engineer must formally affirm to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that our dams have been inspected and are operating safely. Operating our dams safely is just one component of generating hydroelectricity, a clean, safe and renewable source of energy.
Although the Lake Murray dam brings water, power, flood control, recreation and economic opportunities to our community, dams are not entirely without risk. It’s our job to do everything we can to prevent dam failure and to have a plan in case there is ever an emergency.
Ensuring dam safety is primarily about maintenance and monitoring. We closely monitor dam conditions, primarily looking for changes, such as variance in water levels, wet spots or new vegetation. After a heavy rain, we look for signs of erosion. These inspections are conducted by onsite staff as well as engineers and third-party companies as needed.
As you enjoy swimming, boating and other activities made possible by Lake Murray, we would urge you to take a few simple precautions near the dams: Stay away from intake structures and spillways, spill gates and fenced in areas; obey our signs; and follow boating rules.
We also would urge you to prepare for the unlikely event of failure of the dam, with these precautions: Talk with your family about where you would go in an emergency; pay attention to local radio and TV stations for National Weather Service updates; and, if there is an emergency, follow the instructions of law enforcement officers and public officials
You’ll probably never think about the dams as much as we do at SCE&G, and that’s OK. But this summer, as you use electricity and enjoy the local waterways, we hope you’ll remember dam safety as well.
SCE&G Public Affairs Office