The winter months across Southeast Ohio has kept workers at the Dillon Dam on their toes.
Moisture both on and in the ground play a crucial role in determining Muskingum River water levels. Dillon Dam Project Supervisor Clifton Kilpatrick says air temperatures can have a big impact not only at the Dillon Dam site but all sites on the Muskingum River.
"If it is project specific, then we will also make necessary adjustments here as we stay monitoring the gauges on the river, we have gauges on the river. We have gauges on the river above us and below us and coming in from the tributaries to the side," says Clifton Kilpatrick, Dillon Dam Project Supervisor.
Part of preparing for winter months means dropping the level of the river beginning in November to allow more room for additional precipitation that may occur, but that process has to be done carefully.
"We have to drop in increments. We can’t just do a sudden drop because it can possibly impact erosion so we drop it in increments and we have to go and calibrate the adjsutments on the gauge to make sure that we keep at certain levels in those increments that drop. "
Not dropping water levels correctly could result in erosion which could ultimately affect the wildlife and biology of the river.