On April 23rd, the MPOA Management Staff notified the Montclair Community of the need to lower the lake in order to repair the damaged trash racks located within the primary spillway riser. The trash racks are used to prevent debris from entering the riser and potentially clogging the spillway. These trash racks were likely damaged by a large piece of debris hitting the racks when the spillway was operating at maximum capacity. The trash racks were repaired last year when the lake was lowered for the spillway project, but because the trash racks failed, it appears that the work was done incorrectly. On April 26th, the sluice gate was scheduled to be opened and the lake lowered to 12 inches below normal pool. The sluice gate originally was scheduled to be closed no later than Saturday morning, April 27th. However, on April 26th, Montclair experienced some heavy rain and the amount of time to leave the sluice gate open became unpredictable.
The MPOA Management Staff decided to leave the sluice gate open all Friday night and Saturday morning to compensate for additional water from the rain so that the water level would be lowered enough to conduct the work. The rain water did not impact the lake as much as assumed, resulting in the lake dropping to an approximate 3 feet below normal pool. The sluice gate was closed at 8:00AM on April 27th. The lake level will be allowed to rise to normal. Even though the initial plan was to lower the lake one foot, the additional lowering to approximately 3 feet allowed the contractor to perform the repairs more accurately and efficiently. The lower lake level also allowed the contractor to do additional work on the exposed trash racks supports. On Saturday, April 27th the trash racks were repaired and some new pieces were installed at no cost to Montclair Property Owners Association. The installation process required the lake to be lowered at least 12 inches below normal pool in order for the contractors to gain access. Even with the lowering, the contractor was not able to do some of the repairs to the front racks, as the water was still too deep. The contractor completed the repairs possible and left the site at 3:00 PM. Though there was a lot of rusting steel found, we are hopeful the repairs will withstand our future storms. In the meantime, it appears the entire under structure and grates will need to be eventually replaced with more durable components in order to properly protect the spillway components.
The Board of Directors and Lake Management Committee will continue to look into the matter at hand.