Corps of Engineers to Test Spillway Gates at Lake Hartwell Dam March 13

USACE, Savannah District
Published March 12, 2024

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Dam safety officials from the Savannah District, U.S Army Corps of Engineers, will test the spillway gates at one hydropower dam on the Savannah River tomorrow.

Dam Safety teams will test all spillway gates at Hartwell Dam near Hartwell, Georgia, and Anderson, South Carolina, March 13, beginning at 9 a.m. The test will last approximately 2 hours.

The public may attend the test, but all spectators must stay out of the water downstream of the dam due to strong currents and heavy turbulence. Based on past tests, crowds are expected, so please plan accordingly.

Parking will be allowed in the grassed area alongside the Hartwell Power Plant entrance road between U.S. Highway 29 and the entrance to Georgia River Recreation Area. Visitors may also park at Big Oaks Recreation Area in Georgia and walk the paved trail toward the dam, at the South Carolina Dam Viewing Area or Overlook Area on the South Carolina side and walk the paved trail to the dam. The Georgia River Recreation Area and below dam fishing piers on both the Georgia and South Carolina side will be closed during the test due to high water. Due to safety concerns from high traffic volume, visitors must not park along U.S. Highway 29, and observation from the Highway 29 bridge is strictly prohibited.

Drones are not allowed near or above the dams, including in adjoining parks. Corps’ Park Rangers will be available to direct parking along the access road to the Hartwell Power Plant and local/state authorities will enforce the “No Parking and No Stopping” laws on state highways and bridges.

“We chose this date because the lake levels are optimum at this time,” said Steven Tyler, structural engineer for the Savannah District. “These required safety tests ensure the gates will function properly should a high-water event require an emergency release for the safety and integrity of the dam.”

While the release provides a spectacular view, the actual effect of the release on reservoir levels is minimal. The Hartwell reservoir is currently above full summer levels. For more information, please call the Hartwell Lake and Dam Project Office at 888-893-0678.

– 30 –

Cheri Dragos-Pritchard, Media Operations Chief
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 24-007