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Alabama Power announces water-level drawdowns

Published 6:47pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Alabama Power has set tentative dates for water-level drawdowns this fall on Mitchell, Lay and Jordan/Bouldin lakes, located on the Coosa River.

An Alabama Power press release said drawdowns give residents and contractors better lakebed access for permitted construction projects on the three lakes.

Examples of construction projects are piers, boathouses and shore stabilization measures, such as seawalls, which prevent soil erosion.

Permits are required for all construction projects within Alabama Power’s reservoir boundaries, and lake residents and contractors considering any construction projects within reservoir boundaries should obtain proper permits before starting any work.

Permitting guidelines and contact information for permits on each lake can be found on the Shoreline Management page at

A Permit Guidelines document on Alabama Power’s website from 2012 for Lay, Mitchell, Jordan and Bouldin reservoirs displays a permit fee of $250 and lists size and location requirements for lakefront property such as docks, boat ramps and seawalls.

Anyone wanting to start a construction project within one of Alabama Power’s reservoir boundaries should first contact a member of Alabama Power’s Shoreline Management team. Visit for Shoreline Management office phone numbers.

Drawdowns can be postponed if weather conditions are not conducive to lowering water levels.

Drawdowns have not taken place since 2009 because a record amount of rainfall necessitated the management of water flows instead of trying to lower water levels with drawdowns.

Since weather conditions can impact the drawdown schedule, residents and contractors are encouraged to visit Alabama Power’s automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711) or for updates.

Those with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities are urged to be alert to changing conditions on Alabama Power reservoirs, including changes in water levels that could affect boats or buildings in or near the lake.

Alabama Power biologists, in coordination with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will also use the drawdown periods to survey snail populations in Lay Lake tributaries.

Alabama Power has 14 hydroelectric facilities on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers.

The following is this year’s drawdown schedule according to individual lake levels:

•Lake Mitchell – Normal elevation, 312; drawdown elevation, 308/309; lowering dates, Oct. 1–3; start refill, Oct. 15; back to normal, Oct. 17.

•Lake Jordan/Bouldin – Normal elevation, 252; drawdown elevation, 248/249; lowering dates, Sept. 17–19; start refill, Oct. 1; back to normal, Oct. 3.

•Lay Lake – Normal elevation, 396; drawdown elevation, 393/394; lowering dates, Oct. 15–17; start refill, Oct. 29; back to normal, Oct. 31.

For more information, visit

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