The following describes the current situation regarding the Arlington Reservoir derived from public documents and meetings. This is an attempt to identify key issues and to provide a framework for further investigations. The consultant's report from Weston and Sampson and other documents can be found at the Reservoir website: arlington2020.org/reservoir
Jun '98 - State DEM investigates Reservoir dam and sends a notification letter to the town.
Jun '99 - Town hires consultant to study dam and make recommendations.
Feb '00 - Consultant issues report and presents recommendations.
Jun '00 - Dam gate breaks and creates a mini-flood in Colonial Village.
Sep '00 - New consultant presents more drastic recommendations.
Although the consultant's report focuses on dam safety, there are a number of other important issues regarding the Reservoir as well. In fact the report recommends further studies on two of these issues (section 6.0).
It would appear reasonable to consider all of these issues before proceeding with a plan that just addresses one of them.
For the sake of completeness, dam decommissioning should be seriously looked into. If the water level needs to be kept low and the swim area sealed off, why maintain a dam at all is an obvious question to ask.
A temporary interim plan could be put in place while the options are being more fully considered. For example, keeping the Res at its lowest water level along with basic repairs to the gate and overflow spillway, and regular leakage monitoring.
David E. White - 11/4/00