Manatee County staff is meeting with engineers today to determine potential fixes to the Lake Manatee dam.
Officials worry that the core of the structure, which provides drinking water to more than 300,000 residents in Manatee and Sarasota counties, may be compromised due to erosion.
On Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, staff conducted coring techniques — accessing the heart of the dam by drilling into different areas of the core and lowering cameras into the holes, to capture below the surface.
The images were displayed to engineers in Tampa.
Based on the engineers’ investigation of the photographs, they will reveal whether the soil protecting the core on the upstream side of the dam is loose — and how big of a fix is required.
If the soil is loose, water can seep through and reach the core.
If that happened, the core would start to erode and fail to prevent the excess flow of water.
Without controlling how much water flows out of the dam, flooding can occur, threatening 18 homes located downstream from the dam’s location on Waterline Road.
Based on the findings revealed by engineers today, the county will take further action.
Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].