Mountain Creek Lake (Trinity River Basin)

Mountain Creek Lake and Dam (Photo provided by Freese and Nichols, Inc.)Mountain Creek Lake is located about four miles southeast of Grand Prairie in Dallas County, on Mountain Creek, a tributary of the West Folk, which is a tributary of the Trinity River. The Lake is presently owned by Texas Utilities Electric Company for cooling an electric generating plant. The State Board of Water Engineers originally issued Water Right Permit (No. 1167, Application No. 1243) to E. S. Heyser on October 20, 1931, which authorized the Mountain Creek Dam. However, before the permit was formally issued, he transferred his rights and interests to Joe A. Worsham who also transferred his rights and interest to Dallas Power and Light Company which was finally bought by the Texas Utilities Electric Company.

Construction of the Mountain Creek Dam actually began in 1929 and was completed in December 1936. Deliberate impoundment of water began in January 1937. The steam-electric generating station went into operation in June 1938. The dam is a rolled-earth structure, 8,200 feet long of trapezoidal cross section with a maximum height of 36 feet, top width of 21 feet, and maximum base with of 167 feet. The top of the dam is at an elevation of 467 feet above mean sea level. The outflow from the lake is controlled by six tainter gates (each 34 feet wide and 27 feet tall) over the concrete spillway located near the center of the dam, with a crest at an elevation of 431 feet above mean sea level. In 1953, the height of spillway gate was increased from 457 to 458 feet above mean sea level. However, the top of conservation pool elevation, 457 feet above mean sea level, was not changed. At this elevation, the lake has a conservation storage capacity of about 22,840 acre-feet, with a surface area of 2,710 acres. Mountain Creek Lake controls a drainage area of about 295 square miles.

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