Yes the water is flowing and yes the blog has been too quiet.
And you asked what’s new?
Today, Monday is a beautiful, cool sunny day on Manchaug Pond in the mid 60s.
Yesterday was just as beautiful with a breeze.
Saturday into Sunday early morning, Manchaug Pond received a total of 5 inches of rainfall from the remnant of hurricane Hanna. Water is running downstream from Manchaug Pond out the low-level gate and under the flashboards.
Friday, two “men in boots” were at the dam opening things up – the lowlevel gate was opened a good amount letting white water flow and the sandbags were removed from the spillway flashboards
so water could flow beneath them (remember the little stone situated under the bottom flashboard allowing water to run out the spillway even with the flashboards in…)
The reason we’re open? My guess would be Hanna, Ike and the other potential storms ofHurricane Season which give the dam owner a legitimate reason to open things up. Even though we still haven’t reached our summer high for waterlevel yet. Also the previous caretaker would have given the MPA a courtesy call notify us of the opening- reason and how much – so we could “let the people around the lake know.” We had a friendly working relationship with him, it would be nice if that continued with the two new caretakers. Perhaps the dam owner’s spokesman will call next week with an update.
Thursday. What was notable about Thursday? Well, noon was the deadline for the dam owner to get back to the Sutton Conservation Commission about the peer/third party review of their Operations and Management Plan for Manchaug Pond. The Con Comm had asked an environemental engineering company, Fuss & O’Neil, to do the review at a cost of $12,000 to be paid by the dam owner.
Weds. night the dam owner went before the Sutton Conservation Commission with a request/Notice of Intent to take a new “cautious position” in controlling the water level of Manchaug Pond at the recommendation of their engineer who is concerned about old Dam Safety Regulations. Specifically, the plan looks to follow a 1930 rule curve which the dam owner nor the previous owner followed. If the dam owner has its way, this will result in the water kept lower throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons with a lower peak finally reached June 1 and sloping right back down.
The way it was presented they didn’t want to take it down to the low 1930 rule curve and agreed it was cautious and the recommendation came as a surprise to them – a real catch-22 situation- but they do have to answer to the Office of Dam Safety and operate on the side of caution and limit risk and liability.
Sooo Manchaug Pond forget your fishkills, dry coves and wetlands, recreational boating, useless docks, etc…
Information was presented by the dam owner, but sad to say their spokesperson had Manchaug mixed up with our sister pond, Whitin Reservoir. We understand that Manchaug’s flashboard measure 3.5 feet not 2.7, Manchaug is tied hydrologically to Whitin Reservoir but it was Whitins which overflows into Manchaug, and their are 2,000 + dams in the state not 5,000 and if you look at the dam safety reports you’ll see historically higher water levels than the reworked graphs the NOI (Notice of Intent) show. Also we understand that the gauge downstream reports the combined flow from Manchaug and Whitins… anyway… the meeting was a bit confusing not to mention you could hear the meeting in the next room better than the speaker in the Selectman’s Room… the meeting was
continued to September 17th.