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Officials investigating seeping dam in Pine Belt

LAMAR COUNTY — Inspections continue at a dam in Lamar County where seepage was discovered last month.

The earthen dam is at Lake Serene North in Lamar County.

The Hattiesburg American reports that seepage was discovered flowing from under the apron of the dam’s spillway on Oct. 16. Also found was a “boil” — a column of water carrying sand particles from beneath the spillway.

The level of the more than 100-acre lake has been lowered about 6 feet to 7 feet, eliminating the boil and slowing seepage.

County engineer Don Walker said results of an inspection that is underway will be turned over to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality by Dec. 1.

“The more I look at it, I believe it’s more the lower portion of the apron of the spillway,” said Walker, who is working with the Lake Serene Property Owners Association. “We’ve got to a little more investigation to make that final determination, but I believe it is leaning toward that portion.”

Lamar County Emergency Management Agency director James Smith said the LSPOA will have to determine how to proceed.

He said the property owners association has been told that water cannot be added back into the lake until plans are approved with MDEQ. “But everything is good,” he said. “It’s at a safe level now. No problems at all there.”

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