What topics would you like to read about on Balancing the Basin?

Reader feedback has gone a long way in assisting us to know what kind of information is in demand from our stakeholders. We’d like to thank our readers and stakeholders for your contribution in making Balancing the Basin a source for timely and useful information.

We’d like your feedback if there are topics you think need more attention, or if you have recommendations for any topic not yet covered. Our goal is to keep the information here relevant and in demand. To a great extent we depend on your input for this.

If you have a story idea, a suggestion or other feedback, please share it with us in the comments section below. We also welcome suggestions via email at CESAS-CCO@usace.army.mil.

Thanks for reading us!

~Russell Wicke, Corporate Communications Officer

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on Facebook.com/SavannahCorps
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  • yu nah ee tah


    • Hydrilla continues to be a concern at J. Strom Thurmond Lake. Our last hydrilla update was posted in December 2013. You can read that update here: I’ll check with our biologists and see if we can provide any new information on the hydrilla issue for a future post on this blog. Thanks for reading us. ~Tracy R.

    • There isn’t much new information to report about the hydrilla issue, but we just posted an update today. View it here:

  • ccason

    Silt accumulation from development runoff.

  • ccason

    Why there is so much fluctuation of river levels between Thurmond dam and Stevens Creek dam.

  • CConrad

    Dredging, the long term effects and potential life extension of the lakes. Targeted areas, costs and funding allocations if considered

    • Thanks for the comment. Are you referring to dredging in the Savannah Harbor, such as the upcoming harbor deepening project, or are you asking about potential dredging activities at the reservoirs? ~Tracy R.

  • Ferris

    Summer lake level management for Hartwell and Thurmond. I note from an earlier post that, “According to our water control manual, the reservoirs are in normal conditions during the summer when water levels are within the first four feet of conservation storage”. Release rates are defined after levels drop four feet. But what factors determine release rates in the first four feet?

  • Jeff D

    New bridge over little river at lake thurmond.

  • John Stokes

    I would like to know the Corps’ views on the future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. Now that the lock has been declared unsafe, will the dam be the next to go?
    Also, I am curious about the fish passage planned to bypass the lock and dam. It seems to me that the fish passage idea is based on sketchy science. Am I wrong?
    Thanks. I appreciate your excellent communications work.

  • Thank you for all the story ideas. You’ve given us a lot of material to consider. Look to read more about some of these topics throughout the summer. ~Tracy R.

  • Ferris

    What are the problems with allowing Russell to fluctuate like the other pools? I am aware that is not the authorized purpose, but I’m thinking about the reasons that is not allowed. The turbines are less efficient on the outflow with lower levels, but aren’t they then move efficient in reverse? As you can see, I don’t know much about this topic. Maybe these reasons have been covered before and you can provide a link or source.

    • Ferris

      For one potentially practical example, assume that the comprehensive study recommends keeping the current winter drawdown of 4 feet in both Hartwell and Thurmond. What would the problems be if Thurmond was left with a drawdown of 4 feet and a drawdown of 2 feet was used for both Hartwell and Russell? For another example, what would the problems be if, during a dry period, Thurmond was kept at a level sufficient to continue using the turbines in reverse and Russell was allowed to drop lower to make up the difference? Hopefully these examples helped to frame my interest in potential issues.

  • Name

    i filled out a survey 2 years ago regarding “hydrilla”. what’s being done? last year a map showed the lake at 60% coverage. What is it this year?

    • Thanks for your comment. According to our most recent data, hydrilla is present along approximately 53 percent of Thurmond’s shoreline. We just posted an update about hydrilla on this blog: View it here:

  • Jeff: It is our understanding that the design-build contract for the Price-Legg bridge replacement over the Little River has been awarded by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). The contractor, Scott Bridge Company, anticipates beginning construction this fall. The Corps’ role in this project concerns issuing a Clean Water Act permit via our Regulatory program. That permit has not yet been issued but the project is currently out for agency coordination. We are working with GDOT regarding the easements and the environmental clearances. We have worked with GDOT to reduce impacts to recreational uses such as bank fishing through the future construction of improved bank fishing parking areas. Additional recreational impacts will be mitigated by raising the new bridge to allow the passage of larger vessels below it. For more information about this project, please contact GDOT. ~Tracy Robillard, public affairs specialist

  • Steve

    Is there anything, we as individuals, can do in our own cove to stop the Hydrilla. We have a very small amount just getting started, seems rational to “nip it in the bud” ?

    • Thanks for your question Steve. Adjoining property owners may treat hydrilla around their docks provided they obtain a permit from the J. Strom Thurmond Project Office. There is no charge for the permit. An individual who is licensed by the state in the aquatic herbicide category must apply the herbicide. Permits are not required for the cutting and removing of aquatic vegetation from around private boat docks and single lane boat channels provided such work is accomplished with hand tools only. The permit application and a list of licensed applicators are available under the aquatic plant management section of our webpage at

      Dock owners with questions concerning hydrilla treatments may call our chief forrest ranger at 864-333-1111. While treatment on newly established plant populations may slow their spread, there is no guarantee that early treatment will stop hydrilla from becoming established in the area later. Most aquatic herbicides are effective in knocking back the green portions of the plant, however they do not kill the tubers (root system) once hydrilla becomes established. ~Tracy R.

  • Andy V.

    My question / topic was created from you previous post “Our
    outlook on summer reservoir levels”. In that post, it was written:“When
    operating in normal conditions, our protocols include being responsive to the
    hydropower needs of the Southeastern Power Administration.”

    Since evaporation and transpiration are higher in the summer
    and outside of our control I’m curious to know how much “summer water” could be
    saved if hydropower demands were not driving the release. Is there a way to
    isolate & quantify how much water is released when specifically the hydropower
    needs require it?

    Maybe more information on the protocol itself would be a
    good topic. Thanks.