TVA: Grout testing underway at Boone Dam

TVA released more details about a "potential problem" involving a second area of water movement underground near Boone Dam.

(WJHL) – Preliminary testing on the type of grout to be used at Boone Dam is now underway.

Seepage underground at Boone Dam has caused TVA to lower the lake levels earlier this year. Jim Hopson with TVA explains what kind of preliminary work is going on at Boone Dam currently while the environmental assessment is underway.

“Right now, we’re in two parts of the process. We’re doing some testing at the dam right now, testing different types of grout,” Hopson said. “A concrete type substance that is going to be integral to implementing the repair at the dam. We’ve got to find just the precise formula to create both grout that will stay in place when we put it in place and also grout that will flow into different cracks and crannies of the geological rock strata under the dam in order to stop this seepage problem.”

Getting this done early will hopefully save time in the long run, according to Hopson.

“This will let TVA as well as other experts analyze what are the possible environmental consequences, not only of if we execute the proposed repair plan that we informed the public about a couple of weeks ago, but also what if we don’t do anything or what if we do something else,” he said. “All of these things have to be considered so that we can clearly understand what are going to be the environmental impacts of what ever we do at Boone Dam to correct this issue.”

TVA is still looking for public input on this project and residents can go to the website”tva.com/boonedrawdown” for updates and to give TVA input on the process.

Hopson says each reservoir has its own characteristics and public input is very important.

“Sometimes there are unique aspects of each reservoir that we may not think of so that’s the reason why the public is invited to participate in the scoping,” he said. Then once we have the draft environmental assessment in place, the public will also have the opportunity to make comments on that before that becomes final and then a decision can be made as to how TVA is going to safely proceed with the repair at Boone.”

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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