By Jim Newell
The Village of Lake Orion will post daily updates of the Lake Orion and Paint Creek water levels on the village website, www.lakeorion.org.
Police Chief Jerry Narsh said the village would take daily measurements of Lake Orion and Paint Creek – using Saturday’s water levels as a baseline, the day the dam closed – and posts those at noon on the village website under the “Lake Levels Update” heading.
“We want to make a central location for people to get information,” Narsh said. “We’re going to come up with a formula and update the website everday.”
Lake users and watercraft users concerned about whether they should remove their boats from the lake should also consider the depth of the water in front of their homes.
“If they’re in a (lake) finger or shallow water and they see their water levels going down, they might want to take their boat out,” Narsh said. “But really, the lake levels shouldn’t fluctuate that much.”
Narsh said that the diversion tubes running into Paint Creek isn’t necessarily lowering the water lake levels.
“They’re not diverting water at a greater rate than what was going over the dam. It’s just the opposite when you think about it because water isn’t going over the dam,” Narsh said, adding that about 100,000 gallons of water had flowed over the dam every day before the dam was closed.
“Ultimately, the Water Resource Commission controls the lake level.”
Scheduled lake drawdown on Sept. 12 still planned, gate system to feed Paint Creek
The village still plans to begin the scheduled water level drawdown on Lake Orion on Sept. 12, allowing property owners the chance to make repairs. During the dam repair, officials said lake water levels may fluctuate slightly, but should not create a problem for lake users.
As for Paint Creek water levels, Narsh said officials will use the “gate-lowering system to bring water into the creek” to maintain that water level.
Water also will be diverted to the side flow – the DNR drawdown tubes – on the side of the dam. The drawdown tubes feed cold water from the bottom of the lake, preventing the creek from getting too hot so the fish can survive, Narsh said.
“It’s under constant monitoring. We know that some water is coming underneath the spillway. It’s not a lot of water. The important thing is, that amount of water has not changed in a week,” Narsh said, adding “slight amounts of water” would be diverted back to Paint Creek using the system the village uses to lower the lake level.