Buford Dam (Lake Lanier)

Field Descriptions

Dam Name: Buford
Other Name: LAKE SIDNEY LANIER
NID ID: GA00824
Longitude: -84.07333
Latitude: 34.16
County: FORSYTH
River: CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER
State: GA
Nearest City: BUFORD
Distance: 1.00 miles
Owner Name: CESAM
Owner Type: Federal
Private Dam? No
Dam Type: Earth
Purposes: Flood Control
Year Completed: 1958
Dam Length: 2470 feet
Structural Height: 231 feet
Hydraulic Height: 193 feet
Maximum Discharge: 13900 cu ft/sec
Maximum Storage: 2554000 acre-feet
Normal Storage: 1917000 acre-feet
Surface Area: 47182 acres
Drainage Area: 1040 square miles
Hazard Potential: High
Emergency Action Plan? Yes
Inspection Date: 2009-01-27
Inspection Frequency: 5
State Regulated Dam? No
Spillway Type: Controlled
Spillway Width: 100 feet
Volume of Dam: 3751000 cubic yards
Federal Funding Agency: LAKE SIDNEY LANIER
Federal Design Agency: Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Federal Construction Agency: Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Federal Regulatory Agency: Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Federal Inspection Agency: CE
Federal Operating Agency: Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Federal Owner (Agency): Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Other Federal Agencies: Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Source Agency: Department of Defense;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Dam Safety For Boats

A large amount of water can be released from a dam without any warning at any time and by any means. For example, when the demand for electricity is high, the turbines at a dam may be turned on automatically, resulting in a significant increase in the downstream flow of water in only a matter of seconds.

If there's a need to release water through the sluiceways (outlets at the base of the dam), this operation can also create a great swell of discharged water downstream.

During flood operations, any or all spillway gates across the width of a dam can be opened to release upstream flood water that needs to pass to the next downstream reservoir. Upstream or downstream, even the most experienced boater with the strongest motor is no match for this strong flow of water plunging over a spillway of a dam. Even if you're boating far downstream of a spilling dam, recirculating current can pull a powerful boat upstream toward plunging water that could shred any boat.

Some dams equipped with navigation locks create turbulent water as well. When vessels pass through, strong flow is released near the exhaust ports of the wing wall of the lock.

Warning Systems At Dams

To warn reservoir users of potential danger, warning devices are installed at many dams:






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