Does the Water Level Rise and Fall? How Does that Affect Me and My Property?
Many people who visit Smith Mountain Lake are surprised that the water levels do not fluctuate much. Other man-made lakes, controlled by power companies, see significant, regular fluctuations. Lake Norman, in North Carolina, fluctuates so much that, in some cases, docks have to be built on a pivoting mechanism more than 100 ft. from shore. Homeowners there say they are often looking at a mud bowl in the winter rather than a beautiful lake. The long piers and docks are sometimes sitting in mud, and their boats are sitting in storage.
As I write this, in the winter of 2007, many of us are seeing pictures in the news of Lake Lanier, near Atlanta, which has become a virtual dried up mud hole with grass growing hundreds of feet out from the normal shoreline. There are reports that Atlanta will soon lose its water supply if rain doesn’t come soon. Five million people there are holding their breath to see what will happen.
Due in part to the outstanding design of the Smith Mountain Lake hydroelectric system, we enjoy relatively stable water levels. In fact, most boathouses are built close to shore and don’t require a swivel mechanism for fluctuating lake levels. To my knowledge, water levels have never dropped to a level in which the enjoyment and functionality of the lake is significantly impacted for most people.