A small repair job turns into a major undertaking this week in Branson. The city needs to fix a section of the downtown storm water filtration system, but it's below lake levels of Lake Taneycomo.
To get to the repair site, Lake Taneycomo will be lowered a maximum of 30 inches beginning Monday night through Wednesday when the levels are expected to rise before the all important Memorial Day weekend.
Everyone up and down Lake Taneycomo will be affected by the drop in lake levels. The city says resort and boat dock owners were warned well in advance and most of the docks floating on Styrofoam will be sitting on mud by Tuesday evening.
This is a highly coordinated effort by the city which had to get approval by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Empire Electric Company, Southwest Power Administration, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Department of Natural Resources. The timing of the lowering of the lake has to be perfect.
"There's certain times of the year when the Lake cannot be lowered when electricity needs to be generated or heavy rain. So we couldn't always lower it when we needed to. So we finished the work when we could and now we need to go back and finish it. The lake can be lowered this month because of certain weather conditions and electric demands." Says David Miller, a city of Branson engineer.
Miller says the system that treats storm water flowing from downtown Branson comes through a large concrete box underground. When the Branson Landing was being completed, the city had a window of time to install the system. However, crews ran into a problem when a round pipe had to fit into a square hole.
The city couldn't fill those gaps at the time because the lake was too high. Now, the lake is being lowered to complete the filtration system below the Branson Landing.
The city is also well aware that the lake levels have to be up by Thursday before the big holiday weekend. Also, the weather is a factor. If it rains, the work will stop and the city will have to wait for the conditions to be right again.