expensive mistakes

How To Drain A Lake

This is Lake Peigneur. It looks serene and like any of the other lakes that dot the landscape of southern Louisiana. It was, however, the scene of a spectacular engineering snafu on November 20, 1980. That’s the day that, according to the best guess, a Texaco drilling rig miscalculated where they should be drilling and pierced the roof of the Diamond Chrystal Salt Company salt mine, causing a huge vortex and draining the lake into the salt mine. The Delcambre Canal, which normally flows from Lake Peigneur to Vermillion Bay began flowing backwards, filling Lake Peigneur with salt water and temporarily creating a 150 ft. waterfall, the largest in Louisiana.

Don’t take my word for it. Hit the jump for a video from Discovery Channel’s “Engineering Disasters” about this bizarre event. And remember to check and recheck your work. A small error can have major repercussions.

Continue reading How To Drain A Lake