Downpour along the Western Ghats in Tenkasi and Virudhunagar districts in the last two days brought copious water to Vembakottai and Irrukkangudi dams across Vaippar since Friday night.
As the water level increased in both the dams, Public Works Department officials released water from the dams as a precautionary measure.
The inflow, which was more than 8,000 cusecs to Vembakottai, decreased to less than 1,300 cusecs on Sunday morning.
“Rainwater from Sankarankoil, Puliyangudi and Tiruvengadam areas of Tenkasi, and from the western ghats of Rajapalayam and Srivilliputtur had started flowing in huge quantity since Friday night,” said Executive Engineer, Upper Vaippar, S. Raja.
The inflow to Vembakottai dam, which was around 2,700 cusecs on Friday morning, went up to over 8,000 cusecs around midnight of Friday.
Consequently, the level rose to 86.15 feet (as against 87.5 feet) on Saturday morning from 84.7 feet on Friday.
Collector J. Meghanath Reddy inspected both dams on Sunday morning.
“Since, water discharge began late in the night from Irukkangudi dam, we had kept devotees visiting Mariamman Temple (between Vaippar and Arujna rivers) away on Sunday morning as a precautionary measure,” Mr. Meghanath said.
Both the dams have been receiving water after a gap of six years. Vembakottai dam last got filled in 2015, according to Vembakottai Tahsildar S. Thanaraj.
The discharge from Vembakottai dam was stepped up and the level in Irukkangudi dam rose.
The storage started to swell from 88.24 mcft on Friday to 163.40 mcft (maximum storage 499.5 mcft) on Saturday. The discharge from the dam was 7,000 cusecs on Sunday morning.
“As part of dam safety measure, the water was discharged,” the Collector said. The district is expected to receive more rain.
Mr. Meghanath said that the improving storage in Irukkangudi dam and all the minor dams in the district will help in recharging groundwater and help drinking water supply.
Vembakottai dam is a major source of drinking water for Sivakasi Corporation and Irukkangudi dam for Sattur town.