'Potential failure watch': Erosion damage from recent rain and flooding threaten Lake Livingston Dam, repairs underway

Lake Livingston, a significant water source for millions of people in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area, has experienced damage to its dam and spillway due to severe weather and subsequent erosion. The Trinity River Authority (TRA) has declared a “potential failure watch” and is currently working on repairs to address the affected areas.

The TRA is actively monitoring the situation around the clock and is collaborating with local emergency management to provide updates and instructions for affected communities. Although the current status does not indicate an immediate risk of failure or breach, the TRA urges individuals to contact their local emergency management officials for specific emergency actions in their area.

Lake Livingston is approximately 80 miles away from downtown Houston, and its water supply plays a crucial role in the city’s drinking water. More than three million people depend on the water from the Trinity River every day, which originates from Lake Livingston.

The City of Houston draws raw water for two major water purification plants from the Trinity River, located 35 miles downstream of the Lake Livingston dam. On a daily basis, around 806 million gallons of water are pumped from the Trinity River and used for drinking water, representing about 70% of the city’s total daily water supply.

The TRA’s repair efforts aim to ensure the dam can still handle potential storm flow releases and continue day-to-day operations safely and as quickly as possible. However, the true severity of the damage and the potential risks involved are yet to be fully assessed and communicated. The public is advised to stay informed and follow the instructions of local emergency management officials for any emergency actions in their communities.

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