©2018 by The Robert B. Balter Company.

BUCKEYE LAKE DAM

Fairfield, Ohio

Buckeye Lake Dam is a state-owned structure located within Buckeye Lake State Parkland. This Class I high-hazard dam was constructed between 1825 to 1832 as an earthen embankment and measures approximately 4.1 miles long and supports recreational uses such as fishing and boating.

In March 2015, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a report detailing unacceptable deficiencies in the dam and undertook a two-phased approach by installing new cut-off walls around the entire lake.

Balter’s involvement included:

  • Preparation of a Verification Core Drilling Plan

  • Baseline Test Holes including Field Permeability Testing

  • Verification/Confirmation Test Holes including Field Permeability Testing

  • Additional Permeability Test Locations

  • Buttress/Piling Holes

  • Packer Testing 

Phase I activities included the construction of the Embankment Stability Berm (berm) and the seepage cutoff wall. Phase 1 structural risk reduction measures completed in May 2016 included placement of a 30 foot wide embankment stability berm and a nearly 43 foot deep soil mix seepage cutoff wall along the entire 4.1 mile length of the dam. Balter’s role occurred during Phase II. Balter drillers participated on later stages of this initial Phase to expedite the on-going verification coring.

Phase II consisted of continued soil mixing to support the cutoff wall and a landscaped cap that included an asphalt access path for use by the public on top of the new dam and a sidewalk for local access. 

Balter’s scope included all verification coring of the cutoff wall in order to evaluate the suitability of the Contractors soil mixing operation. The coring operation, performed after a designated curing period, consisted of the use of a PQ3 size bit and a triple tube wireline core barrel to obtain a continuous sample of the weakly cemented materials through mud rotary methods. Ultimately the core was obtained and extracted for documentation and compressive strength testing.

Based on the findings of the verification cores as well as their in-situ conditions, each verification core boring was flushed clean for the purpose of video logging and falling head permeability testing.  After completion of the falling head permeability testing, a Digital Optical Televiewer camera capable of recording a 360 degree image was available to scan the core boring to further identify the quality of the soil mixing operation.

Phase II included some 900 Verification Cores ranging from 25 LF to 100 LF.