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Leaks in levee stabilized

About $12,000 has been spent on materials, labor

By Megan Doyle, Herald and News 6/10/08

Five leaks in an Upper Klamath Lake levee near Lakeshore Drive are stabilized, as residents and officials plot a long-term fix.

The leaks are moving about one -third less water from Upper Klamath Lake than at their peak about two and a half weeks ago. They have been plugged with rock, clay and a filter-fabric mat to slow the flow of water.

“Right now we’ve stabilized the situation,” said Klamath County Emergenc y Services manager Bill Thompson. The situation remains serious, but the levee is not in risk of imminent failure.


Since Memorial Day weekend, five leaks have been identified on the nearly mile-long levee off of Lakeshore Drive near Moore Park Marina No. 2. There are concerns that the levee could fail, causing an estimated $1.8 million in damage to a dozen homes on the other side of the ditch and, possibly, damage to Lakeshore Drive.

Funding a fix

About $12,000 has been spent on materials and labor to plug the holes. The Klamath County Commissioners approved using $20,000 from the county risk management fund to address the immediate risk of failure.

Emergency Services also is pursuing a $5,000 state grant, but will likely not hear if it has been approved until later this week, Thompson said. The county also will pursue assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a more permanent solution.

On Monday, a group met to discuss a rubber product from EroShun, a levee protection systems and earthen dams company out of Brookings.

The EroShun product, made from recycled and processed tires and stainless steel wires, is a possible long-term solution. It is rodent- and percolation proof, said Richard Sine, of EroShun. The product would be placed in the levee, similar to sheet piling, where a metal or plastic sheet is driven into the middle of the levee to stop water from filtering through.

The EroShun product would cost approximately $5.50 per square feet, or $275,000 to run the length of the levee.

“We just need to get funding to make it happen,” Thompson said.

Environmental impacts

Lakeshore Gardens Drainage District members questioned Sine on the environmental impacts of the product, which Sine said has gone through Environmental Protection Agency approval.

Before any decisions will be made, the Corps of Engineers will be brought into the conversation, Thompson said.

In the meantime, crews continue to work on plugging the holes and clearing weeds and vegetation to make it easier to monitor leaks.

The Klamath County Department of Corrections may provide work crews to help clear the weeds.
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