Since July there's been no water skiing or even swimming at Archusa Water Park in Quitman, this all due to a leak that was found in the reservoir's primary spillway. To fix the leak water levels were lowered from the usual 215 feet to about 211 feet.
However, following weeks of work the leak is fixed and to the pleasure of city officials, the water level is being raised back to normal.
"We have been concerned with all of the problems we've had with the dam. It concerns us. The lake is real important to us. Right now, with the economy like it is, we need the lake to come back from where we have been in the economy," says Quitman Mayor Tommy Blackburn.
This isn't the first time there have been problems at the reservoir. Following extensive rain in 1998, the dam broke and a secondary spillway was installed. Two years ago, a leak was found in that. Because of ongoing litigation between the engineer and park officials, we're told that the leak is still there for now at least. However, park officials say unless lowered to do work the leak in the secondary spillway will not significantly affect water levels.
Meanwhile, county officials say because the primary spillway has been there since the park opened in 1973, the leak in it is due to normal wear and tear.
"You know, works been going on all along. Pat Harrison has got a board and this board oversees Pat Harrison Waterway Park. We hate it happened, but what's positive is it's fixed and we'll have it ready for our October festivals," says Board of Supervisors president Tony Fleming.
If all goes well, park officials say the water level should be back up to normal within the next 7 to 10 days.