During a verification check on the lake levels at Lake Tansi in September, Crossville City Engineer Tim Begley detected what he thought was an odd reading. As part of the city's contract with Lake Tansi, they provide Tansi officials with monthly lake level information. "The lake level was down," Begley said. "We immediately thought of a leak.
"The first question we asked ourselves," Begley said, "could this be a repairable leak? The state of Tennessee inspects dams annually, and it is common for all dams to leak, but what we were dealing with here was not a routine leak. Earthen dams 'seep' water on the backside of the dam, but seeps are normally slow leaks and do not negatively effect the lake level."
After finding the source of the leak, Begley and his department went right to work to stop it. Begley estimates that 10 million gallons of water per month were escaping through the leak, as the lake level was down nine inches. To get a better feel for how much water that is, consider the one million gallon water capacity of the Homestead water tower.
Begley decided minor masonry repair was needed to get the leak under control. Altogether, about $1,000 in materials were used on the project, with man hours provided by the city, with assistance from the POA Maintenance Department.
Danny Plumlee, chairman of the board of the Lake Tansi POA, cooperated with the city to resolve the problem. Gary Dillon and Plumlee had the problem explained to them by Begley as they all visited the construction site. All work was approved by the Lake Tansi POA. "We are indeed fortunate to have Tim's expertise working for us," Plumlee said. "Because of his keen eye seeing that the lake level was down, he was able to find this leak."
"The job was done right," Dillon said. "Thanks to the city, we have saved millions of gallons of our lake water, and prevented what could have been a bigger disaster."
"This is a perfect example of how the city of Crossville and Lake Tansi Village are working together to protect the assets of our community," Plumlee said. "We are very grateful to the entire city engineering department for their help in this emergency."
Work began on the repair in October and took about four weeks to complete.