The following letter is from the President of the Saluda Lake Homeowner's Association, Andy March, from May 20th, 2017.
After several questions, I talked with the dam operator about the lake levels. The lake is once again under new ownership, and the direction of dam operation and power generation has changed and been made more specific. Duke Energy pays significantly more for power during peak demand, which is business hours. To increase revenue, as much as is practical, power will be generated during weekdays and water saved at night and during the weekends. The operator has been given one foot of lake level to use, while trying not to waste water over the top of the dam.
What this all means is that what we have seen in the last week is how they intend to operate the lake. Fill the lake on the weekends, and slowly bring it down during the week to a maximum of one foot down on Friday afternoon. Last summer was unusual due to the drought. There was seldom enough river flow to operate the turbines at all, the entire flow went over the top of the dam, and the lake stayed very stable and at a higher than normal level. So this all depends on rain.
I will keep you informed of any changes.
Saluda Lake Homeowners Association