Lake Houston spillway dam project reduces lake level

Houston, TX – City Council Member Dave Martin would like to bring to resident’s attention that Houston Public Works has lowered Lake Houston by six inches as of Monday, May 20, allowing contractors to begin a critical rehabilitation project on the Lake Houston Spillway Dam. Lake Houston will be lowered another six inches on Tuesday, May 28, following Memorial Day weekend, for a total lake reduction of one foot through the fall of 2020.

The Lake Houston Spillway Dam Rehabilitation Project will provide increased stability to the dam through the installation of a new reinforced concrete training wall. This project also includes partial demolition of a splitter wall, which is the device used to break up the flow of water over the spillway. Contractors with Thalle Construction Company will build new concrete anchor blocks at the bottom of the training wall and elevate the Ogee and Stilling pool weirs by seven feet, thus altering the water flow from the spillway.

During this project property owners should be prepared for varying levels on Lake Houston through the fall of 2020 as any time the lake is above 41.5 feet, it will be immediately lowered back to 41.5 feet in an effort to minimize disruption of the project. In these instances, advance notice may not be possible and property owners should secure property along the shoreline for this extended period of time. During the time of this project recreational activities will be disrupted and boaters are urged to use extreme caution on the lake due to lower levels as well as increased instances of exposed debris.

Contractors will use water pumping and cofferdams for the project allowing them to work on the dam below the water line. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2020. The estimated construction cost is $10 million and is being funded by Coastal Water Authority’s (CWA) Special Equity funds, designated for CWA through the City of Houston infrastructure improvements fund. It is important that water levels will be lowered to 41.5 feet throughout the entirety of the project. For more information on the Lake Houston Spillway Dam Rehabilitation Project, contact Erin Jones.

The project does not include additional gates on the Lake Houston Spillway Dam. That project is still being pursued on the federal level and if approved the design and construction of those gates will be completed within three to five years of approval. Council Member Martin has worked diligently to secure support for this project from Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, and Representative Dan Crenshaw.

Separately, during times of inclement weather when the National Weather Service predicts greater than three inches of rain within a 48-hour period, the lake should already be at 41.5 feet which would require no additional lowering unless a more significant rain event is predicted. Lake Houston has a normal pool elevation of 42.5 feet. To monitor current water levels at Lake Houston, visit: Again, Property owners should plan to secure property along the shoreline through fall of 2020.

Please contact the District E office by phone (832) 393-3008 or email with any questions.