Location and Description
Acton Lake Dam is located in Hueston Woods State Park in Butler County, just north of the city of Oxford. The dam was originally constructed in 1956 to provide a recreational lake for the park.
The facility includes an earth fill embankment, side channel concrete spillway, concrete lined outlet channel, concrete lake drain structure and drainage network along the toe of the dam. The earth fill portion of the dam is approximately 60 feet high and 1,100 feet long. The side channel spillway is a 330-foot long ogee spillway located on the east dam abutment. The concrete lake drain structure is located in the lake approximately 80 feet from the upstream shoreline and near the side channel spillway. The lake drain consists of a concrete tower extending from the lake bottom above normal pool and includes two 6-foot by 6-foot sluice gates.
Acton Lake Dam impounds approximately 560 surface acres of water at normal pool and has a contributing drainage area of 99 square miles. The lake is considered a premier inland fishery and recreational boating area. As a Class I high-hazard potential structure, a sudden failure of Acton Lake Dam likely would result in the structural collapse of at least one residence or one commercial or industrial business and probable loss of human life. (Hazard ratings refer to the consequences of dam failure, not the dam's condition.)
Click here for more about the Dam Risk Reduction Program.
Acton Lake Dam has displayed visual signs of underseepage since construction in 1956. Additionally, a structural analysis of the existing concrete spillway weir, floor, adjacent walls and the concrete lake drain tower, has been performed to evaluate compliance with current design codes. The result of the structural analysis indicated that most of the structures at the site are deficient. Also, the dam does not meet current state dam safety standards.
Several options were considered for rehabilitation of the dam. The lake's quality as a fishery and vast recreational uses led to constraints associated with lake levels during construction. The selected risk reduction alternative allows construction to be performed with minimal impacts to lake levels. This alternative involves replacement of the lake drain tower and several concrete walls, rehabilitation of the spillway weir and outlet channel, and construction of a new toe drainage network and berm.
Long Term Plan
Routine inspections and maintenance of the dam will continue. An emergency action plan will be revised and shared with local emergency management officials once it is completed.
Additional park information may be found on the Hueston Woods State Park web page.