Ease the Flow Downstream!

Here at Manchaug Pond the water level is going down… fast.

The flow as seen on Parker Road, Sutton:

Let’s be thankful it did not rain overnight. The dam at Manchaug Pond and the newly implemented 1930 Rule Curve is dumping enormous amounts of water downstream.

A flood watch was implemented this past weekend at one area business with hourly monitoring of the river required. We have seen the Stevens Pond dam and the dam at Manchaug center act just as they have been designed in order to handle the tremendous flow.

The flow over Stevens Pond yesterday:

The flow in the village of Manchaug – not just a ripple.

And the water over the falls in the village center – calmer than the weekend.

But back on Manchaug Pond, trying to stick to the new rule curve, I am sure has been a challenge for the dam owner. Weekly, if not daily rainstorms, keep bringing the waterlevel up as the dam owner works to take it down the steep slope of the new curve.

While we on Manchaug Pond are happy not to have been flooded with recent rainstorms, there continues to be the nagging yet realistic concern downstream of too much water.

It is ironic that a 1930 rule curve would be employed at this time by a dam owner who never employed the curve in close to half a century of operation. The 1930 curve was designed when the lake was much smaller in size – before the new and improved big dam and big water uses downstream – and not designed with a run of river/natural flow regimes type management in mind. Downstream, during these heavy rains, does not need Manchaug’s extra water just because an antiquated graph calls for it.

Perhaps we could hold back a bit to allow Stevens Pond and the Mumford River to adjust.