Wixom Lake Residents Encouraged to Remove Boats, Lifts by October 31
[GLADWIN AND MIDLAND COUNTIES, MI, September 25, 2019] - Four Lakes Task Force (FLTF), after consulting with engineering experts, plans to submit a permit application to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) asking to perform a winter drawdown of 8 ft. for Wixom Lake. The application requests to start the drawdown earlier than normal, beginning in the first week of November and to restore to normal summer water levels in early spring. The FLTF is asking individuals to remove their boats from Wixom Lake by October 31.
The typical annual winter drawdown lowers the lake by 3 feet starting on December 15 of each year. For this year, after extensive study and consideration of multiple options, multiple engineers agree that a winter drawdown of 8 feet, conducted several weeks before ice starts to form on the lake, is the most practical and safest course of action for this upcoming winter. Wixom Lake residents are asked to remove their boats and lifts from the water by late October.
The early drawdown will not interfere with the 2020 summer lake levels. Wixom Lake will be returned to the normal summer level in early spring when water temperature nears 39 degrees Fahrenheit, in accordance with the Part 307 order.
“With the FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] license revoked, the method to operate Wixom Lake’s winter water level is functionally different. An 8-foot drawdown is presently the most practical method to increase safety for the Edenville Dam during the winter months, until needed repairs can be completed,” said Ron Hansen, vice president and principal engineer of the Spicer Group Inc., FLTF’s engineering consulting firm. “The approach is to lower the lake level before ice forms to reduce the impacts of ice on the dam throughout the winter. The drawdown request is for greater safety through the winter months.”
The permit application does not impact the other three lakes nor request any changes from the normal winter drawdown procedures for Sanford, Secord and Smallwood Lakes, which will still begin on or after December 15 and lower these lakes by 3 feet, in accordance with FERC and State of Michigan requirements.
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