- Cape man gets 8 years for robbery, his first offense (12/7/16)9
- Abuse suspect tries to take cop's gun; officer zaps him with Taser and punches his face (12/7/16)3
- Group seeks to create a neighborhood park on Cape Girardeau's south side (12/7/16)14
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)28
- Man sentenced to 103 years for murder of Cape woman (12/6/16)4
- Cape may allow residents to keep chickens; residents at meeting push for measure (12/6/16)34
- 3 students in custody for violent threat; no details released (12/9/16)13
- Poplar Bluff man accused of enticement, child porn in Scott County sting operation (12/4/16)
- Burglary suspect apprehended inside Jackson garage (12/4/16)
- Lt. Gov. Kinder weighs in on Trump's win, his future plans (12/4/16)13
Reservoir needs overflow spillway
To the editor:
Why does the upper reservoir at the Taum Sauk power plant no have an overflow spillway? Nobody seems to have noticed that an overflow spillway on the upper reservoir would be an effective safety feature that would protect the power-generating station and the neighbors from a spillover caused by pumps that were supposed to shut off but did not do so when the upper reservoir was already full.
Electric company computers can be hacked or sabotaged and made inoperative. Water-level sensors can break. Data transmission from the sensor to the central computer can be lost. The central computer's signal to stop pumping may not arrive or be acted upon by the pumps. But gravity always works. With an upper reservoir overflow spillway in place, some electricity would be wasted as overflowing pumped water flowed back downhill, but catastrophic failure of the reservoir and downstream damage would not happen. The cost of installing a spillway system is far less than the cost of damage repair.
A spillway is designed to handle overflow. A reservoir wall is not. Water pouring over the reservoir wall weakened the materials supporting the wall and led to wall collapse and catastrophic failure of the reservoir.
The Taum Sauk pumpback power plant should be returned to operation, but with a fail-safe, gravity-powered, overflow spillway installed at the upper reservoir.
WILLIAM JUD, Fredericktown, Mo.