Chattahoochee River Dams
Sixteen dams harness the power of the Chattahoochee as it rolls towards Apalachicola Bay-nine of those in the Columbus area alone. If you are navigating down the river, you must portage around the first thirteen dams and lock through the last three. Once through the last lock, the Chattahoochee turns into the Apalachicola and runs free for 107 miles to the Bay. View all of the dams, along with a description of each one, on a Chattahoochee River Corridor Map. Brief descriptions of each of the dams are included below and more detailed descriptions, along with photos of some of the dams, are included on the map.
Nora Mill Dam Built in 1824, the privately owned Nora Mill Dam continues to power an operating grist mill. It crosses the Chattahoochee one mile below Helen. For more on Nora Mill Granary and Country Store, click here.
Buford Dam Completed in 1956, Buford Dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It impounds Lake Lanier and produces hydroelectric power. The dam is located on Lanier’s downstream end.
Morgan Falls Dam Completed in 1904 and built to produce Atlanta’s first hydroelectric power, Morgan Falls Dam played an important role in the city’s industrial growth. Owned by Georgia Power, it impounds Bull Sluice Lake. The dam crosses the Chattahoochee between Mile Marker 313 and 312.
West Point Dam Completed in 1974, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed West Point Dam to permit construction of a navigation lock for the day vessels would navigate the Chattahoochee all the way to Atlanta. The dam impounds West Point Lake and produces hydroelectric power. It is located on the downstream end of West Point Lake.
Langdale Dam Built by the West Point Manufacturing Company in 1908, Langdale Dam provided power for the company’s textile plant. Today, it is owned by Georgia Power and produces hydroelectric power. The dam is located 4 miles south of West Point, Georgia.
Crow Hop Dam Constructed sometime after the completion of Riverview Dam (below), Crow Hop Dam was built to push the Chattahoochee’s water toward the western side of the channel to provide more water for Riverview Dam generators. The small dam, owned by Georgia Power, is located right above Riverview Dam.
Riverview Dam Built in 1918, Riverview Dam originally powered several West Point textile mills. Today, it produces hydroelectric power for Georgia Power. It is located one river mile downstream of Langdale Dam, directly behind Riverview Mill.
Bartletts Ferry Dam This 1926 dam was built to provide hydroelectric power for the City of Columbus. Owned by Georgia Power, it impounds Lake Harding. The dam is located on the downstream end of Lake Harding, about 17 miles north of Columbus.
Goat Rock Dam Completed in 1912, Goat Rock Dam has changed very little since it was first constructed. Owned by Georgia Power, it produces hydroelectric power and impounds Goat Rock Lake. It is located on the downstream end of Goat Rock Lake, about 9 miles north of Columbus.
Oliver Dam Completed in 1959 by Georgia Power, Oliver Dam produces hydroelectric power and impounds Lake Oliver. It is located on the downstream end of Lake Oliver in north Columbus on the site of a 19th century textile mill.
North Highlands Dam Built in 1899, North Highlands Dam was the first large dam in the South and powered the Bibb Cotton Mill in Columbus. Today, owned by Georgia Power, it produces hydroelectric power and impounds Bibb Pond. The dam crosses the river in the Bibb City area of Columbus, one mile south of Oliver Dam.
City Mills and Dam Built by the City Mills Company in 1907. The dam crosses the river at 18th Street in the city of Columbus.
Eagle and Phenix Mills and Dam This 1866 dam, the second oldest in this area, once powered a textile mill. It crosses the river right above the Dillingham Street Bridge in downtown Columbus.
Lake Walter F. George Lock and Dam The most northern lock and dam constructed on the Chattahoochee by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walter F. George Lock and Dam was completed in 1963 and impounds Lake Walter F. George, produces hydroelectric power and allows navigation of the river. It is located on the downstream end of Lake Walter F. George.
George W. Andrews Lock and Dam Operational since 1963, George W. Andrews Lock and Dam impounds Lake Andrews, produces hydroelectric power and allows navigation of the Chattahoochee. It is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is located on the downstream end of Lake Andrews.
Jim Woodfuff Lock and Dam Completed in 1957 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam impounds Lake Seminole, produces hydroelectric power and allows navigation of the Chattahoochee. It is the southernmost dam on the river and is located on the downstream end of Lake Seminole.
Tagged with: Rivers Streams and Creeks in Georgia
"The lore of the South could not survive without rivers any better than the human body could survive without blood," writes Marc Reisner in Cadillac Desert. Every river has its stories, and the Chattahoochee's could fill volumes. It is Georgia's longest river and the only one spanning all three of its geological regions. Sparkling headwaters fall from the mountains, are temporarily stilled in Lake Lanier, emerge to lope across the Piedmont hills and through Atlanta, and upon reaching Columbus, turn south to spill through successive dams throughout the Coastal Plain, rarely flowing freely. Millions depend on the river—Atlanta and Columbus drink it—yet the river's waters are polluted from human contact, particularly in and downstream of Atlanta. As Atlanta modernizes its sewer system and Columbus talks of freeing the drowned Coweta Falls, the final chapter has yet to be written.