TVA's Great Falls Dam
The TVA website confirms that this is the only TVA dam that is not in the Tennessee River Watershed. It is located on the Caney Fork River, which eventually empties into the Cumberland River in north Tennessee. It is a concrete gravity dam, standing 92 feet high and 800 feet long. It was completed in 1916 by the Tennessee Electric Power Company, and was purchased by TVA in 1939, one of seven dams they acquired from private companies. This dam was featured in the opening scene of the movie "The Specialist".
It is a diversion dam, of sorts. The powerhouse is located several hundred yards downstream.
The plant was in production the day we were there, and from here to the Center Hill Reservoir is some world class rapids. Supposedly this area is used for qualifying for the US olympic rafting teams. The weather was nice, and the rafters were out in force.
Immediately adjacent to the powerhouse is Twin Falls. If it looks like the water is coming out of "solid" rock, that's because it is! The Collins River is just on the other side of the ridge, and some of it seeps through the ridge, causing this display.
Upstream, at a day use area of Rock Island State Park, is an access trail to the riverbed. This is a look downstream to the powerhouse and falls from there.
And a look back upstream at the dam, barely visible around the rocks.
The switchyard, and a maintenance facility, are located at the top of the ridge behind the powerhouse. Even though this powerhouse is rated at 35 Megawatts, compared to Tims Ford's 37, this appears to be a much more extensive switchyard. Maybe the flow is such that they can generate longer here??
The intakes, on the Collins River just across the road from the switchyard. The powerhouse is probably no more than a hundred yards from here, while the dam is a good ways upstream on Caney Fork River, downstream on the Collins River.
This diagram tells the story. Hence, a diversion dam "of sorts". Does the Collins River ever actually flow backwards here? Dunno...
And the requisite "bagged it" shot. We are still learning how to deal with the exposure control on the ZX-50... see if you can find Pat in the shadows.
And a word of warning. We learned that someone drowned on the river below the dam sometime around summer 2001. It must have been a high water event, because they were spilling water at the dam, and two folks decided to try to swim the river below the dam. One of them didn't make it. TVA closed the floodgates, and the local emergency teams were able to find the body. You don't EVER want to be downstream of a dam without knowing what is going on. The shot above was at the base of the dam, but well above the riverbed itself. AND the lake level was below the bottom of the floodgates, so there was no way to spill at this time. We like to poke a little fun at the warning signs ("Stay Away or You Will Die"), but maybe they should word them just like that. Operations at most dams are controlled from a center usually no where near the dam itself, so there is no operator to notice that you are having a picnic on a rock in the middle of a riverbed that is about to be flooded by a spill, or when power production starts. Don't be one to contribute to evolution by stupidity!