Center Hill Dam

Nashville District
Published Jan. 10, 2024
Red and blue diagram of a dam

Diagram of dam

A dam on the right hand side

Center Hill Dam

Center Hill Dam is one of the multipurpose projects that make up the Corps of Engineers’ system for development of the water resources of the Cumberland River Basin. This system is an important part of a larger plan of development for the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

As a major unit in the system, Center Hill Dam and Lake function to control the floodwaters of the Caney Fork River and contribute to the reduction of flood levels at municipal, industrial and agricultural areas along the Cumberland, lower Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Center Hill Dam Statistics:

Max Height 250 feet
Length 1382 feet Concrete
  778 feet Earth
  2160 feet total
Elevation at Top of Dam 696 feet mean sea level
Elevation at Top of Gates 685 feet mean sea level
Elevation at Spillway Crest 648 feet mean sea level



In addition to the far-reaching effects of flood control, the project contributes to the electrical power supply of the area through the generation of clean, safe and efficient hydroelectric power.

The illustration of the dam and water intake explains how this multiple purpose project functions. In the generation of power, water from the reservoir enters gate-controlled intakes into the powerhouse, rotates the turbines and discharges through draft tubes into the river below the dam. Generators mounted on the same shafts with the turbines produce electricity. The electrical voltage is increased by transformers in the switchyard and distributed by transmission lines.

Power produced at Center Hill is sufficient to supply the needs of an average city of 125,000 people.

Installation 135,000 kw (three units)
  45,000 per generator