Lake Murray, South Carolina …Lake Murray located in South Carolina is one big man made lake or reservoir as they call it, that I’ve been on. At the time when the lake was finished, it was the world’s largest man-made reservoir. It serves as the hydroelectric power for the region.
The Saluda River feeds the lake which runs through Columbia South Carolina… big river too. We are privileged that our daughter lives on the lake so we have a boat and boat dock at our disposal. But don’t let that stop you; the large lake has many public parks, docks, and fishing holes for everyone.
By far our favorite thing to do is night fishing off the dock for catfish as you can see; we go kayaking and even paddle boarding every chance we get.
The Saluda Hydroelectric Project is located on the Saluda River in Richland, Lexington, Saluda, and Newberry Counties of South Carolina, approximately 10 miles west of the city of Columbia , and near the towns of Irmo, Lexington, and Chapin. The 2,420 square mile watershed area, drained by the Saluda River and its tributaries above Saluda Dam, provides water for Lake Murray and the Saluda Hydroelectric Plant.
The work of clearing the site for the project was started in April 1927. The Saluda Hydroelectric Project was constructed between 1927 and 1930 by the Lexington Water Power Company, which merged in 1943 with South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G). Lake Murray came into existence in July 1930, when the reservoir reached an elevation of 298.5 feet. In 1931 Lake Murray reached an elevation of 348.5 feet, and in 1933 it reached 358.5 feet. At 7:00 a.m. on December 1, 1930, the first electric power – 10,000 kilowatts – was delivered to Duke Power Company. Today, SCANA Corporation (parent company for SCE&G) owns Lake Murray and is responsible for the lake. Lake Murray was named for William S. Murray and The Dreher Shoals Dam is named for the Dreher family that owned land in the immediate area where this dam is built.
When construction was finished on Lake Murray and the Dreher Shoals Dam, Lake Murray was the largest man-made lake in the world for power production purposes and Dreher Shoals Dam was the largest earthern dam in the world. The Dreher Shoals Dam is approximately 1.5 miles long and 213 feet high. Lake Murray is 41 miles long, 14 miles wide at its widest point and has approximately 640 miles of shoreline. The lake covers a surface area of approximately 48,000 acres.
In 2005, a seismic remediation of the Saluda Dam was completed consisting of a new backup dam (also 213 feet high) immediately downstream of and adjacent to the original dam. The backup dam consists of a combination roller compacted concrete (RCC) gravity section and rock fill embankment sections along the downstream toe of the existing dam. This work was first proposed in 1989 and began in 2002. Once the back-up dam was completed, S.C. Highway 6 across the dam was widened to 4 lanes – 2 lanes atop the original dam from Irmo towards Lexington; and 2 new lanes between the original dam and new dam from Lexington towards Irmo. Additionally, a bicycle lane and walking path were added to the roadway area atop the original dam.