Little Bear Creek Dam Seepage Statement

August, 2017

TVA Dam Safety engineers on April 5 located a small, muddy discharge seeping below the Little Bear Creek dam spillway near Russellville, Ala. The dam remains stable and will continue to be closely monitored as an investigation continues. As a precautionary safety measure and to allow more detailed inspections, the water level in the reservoir was lowered to 608 feet above sea level, the normal winter pool level for the reservoir.

TVA has  completed the initial phase of investigation of seepage at Little Bear Creek Dam  and is slowly raising the lake level to 615.5’, which is about 5 feet below normal summer pool. TVA River Management is releasing only the required minimum flow from Little Bear Creek in order to begin refilling the reservoir up to elevation 615.5’.

The additional elevation will not significantly increase downstream risks, and TVA will continue close monitoring and inspection of the dam as the investigation continues to determine the cause of the seepage.

Raising the reservoir back up to 615.5’ this summer will allow for some recreational use, provide additional data for TVA’s investigation, and also give owners of docks or boats currently moored at the lake an opportunity to make any necessary accommodations

The refill rate depends on rainfall and runoff. The Little Bear Creek watershed averages 5 inches of rainfall in May, 3.8 inches in June, and 3.9 inches in July. Visit the Little Bear Creek Lake Levels page to see the current lake level.