24 December 2018: Water Over the Weir


Totally Staged Photo of George Fergusson posing at the gate. Colin Caissie actually did all the heavy cranking.

I had intended to post some news and pictures on the dam repairs before now but I have been out straight and only now, the day before Christmas, have I found the time to sit down and do it. Last Tuesday workers with PCS removed the concrete forms and pulled some sandbags. They came back the next day to clean up and load up the rest of their gear and materials, bringing to completion the initial repairs to the Clary Lake dam. That afternoon, Colin Caissie completed fabrication of a wrench to operate the gate, and we wasted no time in closing it. Part of the rush was the anticipated rain forecast for Friday: we really wanted to capture the runoff! Here are a few pictures from when we closed the gate, and a video of water flowing over the weir:

You’ll find ALL the pictures of the 2018 dam repairs in the Fall 2018 Photo Gallery.

It didn’t take long for the water level behind the dam to rise! Within a few minutes it was already flooding the ice around the shore of the mill pond, and within an hour and a half it had risen 2 feet, equalizing the water level behind the dam with the water level at the lake. Following the 1.8″ of rain we received on Friday, the lake rose markedly and by Sunday morning, 23 December 2018, there was finally water flowing over the new weir:

I posted the above video on our Facebook page yesterday afternoon.

As of this morning the lake has risen 18.36″ as a result of Friday’s rain and is currently at -22″ below the Normal High Water Mark (NHWM). This is about where it’s supposed to be this time of year. We’ll maintain it around this level until Spring, at which time we’ll start adding stop logs to the weir to raise the lake up to the NHWM.

If you’ve stopped by the dam you’ll have noticed that there is still some water flowing out of the gate despite it’s being fully closed (you can also see it in the above video). We checked out the gate earlier this fall and found it to be in good shape, and now that it’s closed it appears not to be leaking but there is some water entering the 34″ diameter pipe through a hole that we had not previously discovered. We’ll take care of that next spring when the water warms up. You’ll also notice a little minor leaking between the cracks at the very bottom of the dam, below where they shot gunite. This is because the water level behind the dam prevented PCS from shooting gunite more than 4 feet below the top of the dam. While we’d rather see no leaks at all, in a lake with a flushing rate of 1.8, some minor leaking is both inevitable and insignificant. The leaks aren’t going to measurably impact the lake level, and we’ve got to release some water anyways to meet the DEP requirement that we release “minimum flows” to maintain the downstream aquatic habitat.

Another reason why I was in a rush to get the gate closed on Wednesday was because I was scheduled to testify Thursday in the Robert Rubin & Cheryl Ayer v. Richard Smith & Aquafortis Associates LLC lawsuit which, after nearly 2 years, was FINALLY was going to go to trial. And it did. I stuck around for the whole trial (it went two days), because I could.  I can’t say it was fun, but it was interesting! I’ll post something about it at a later date.

2 thoughts on “24 December 2018: Water Over the Weir

  1. Stephen Viti

    You look like a proud papa standing on top of our dam and rightly so! Thanks for all you’ve done these past years!

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