United Water just started the replacement of two gates at the Lake DeForest Dam. The company is replacing the gates, which respond to the level of water in the reservoir when there is a significant rainfall and more water flows into the reservoir. According to United Water, the 56-year-old gates help to protect the integrity of the dam.
“The gates were installed when Lake DeForest Dam was built in 1956,” said United Water New York Vice President and General Manager Michael Pointing. “Because of an excellent maintenance program, they still function in a safe and proper manner. However, certain components will require rehabilitation in the future to prevent operational issues. After careful analysis, the company has determined it is more prudent and cost effective to replace the gates.”
The original gates, designed specifically for the Lake DeForest water supply dam, will be replaced with similar gates. Upon completion of the six month project, the dam will continue to operate according to the same procedures which are currently in effect.
“This project is a $2.5 million investment in Rockland’s future,” said Pointing. “It will help ensure that we can continue to deliver a reliable supply of water for homes, businesses, and firefighting.”
According to United Water Spokeswoman Deb Rizzi, mobilization and site preparation have started.
“We will build a cofferdam attached to the dam, just upstream of one of the gates,” explained Rizzi. “This temporary watertight enclosure will provide a safe environment for workers. It will also safely retain water at the dam. Once the cofferdam is in place, workers will remove and replace one gate. Once that gate is back in service, work will begin on the second gate.”
Reservoir levels will be maintained throughout the project and customers will have an ample supply of water. United Water stated licensed professional engineers, who are dam experts, will supervise the work and it will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation approved the project. Company representatives reviewed its plans with Clarkstown officials and the Rockland County and Clarkstown Offices of Emergency Management.
United Water New York officials stated the company invests between $25 and $30 million each year in infrastructure improvements.