FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the Leverett Pond Dam Construction

Why Replace the Dam, and why not repair it.

Answer: The Division of Dam Safety, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FLP contracted engineers upon  inspection have found the dam to be in poor condition and lacking in safety controls such as a flood gate, proper spillway, and an anchored base to bedrock. The dam is 81 years old, is leaking, deteriorating and if left as it is will drain the Pond. The cost of repairing the dam is almost the same as building a new dam.

Will the Pond be drained for construction?

Answer: No. A coffer dam will be constructed immediately upstream of the dam and by law will contain a device that will maintain the water level throughout construction regardless of weather.

How long will construction take?

Answer: Approximately two months.

How much will the new dam cost?

Answer: Approximately $360,000. This includes finalization and road repair, and any unanticipated issues. The Friends of Leverett Pond with help from the State has raised more than $200,000 toward construction and permit costs. FLP has applied for a Community Preservation Fund grant of $160,000.

What are the benefits of a new dam?

Answer: A new dam will be a steel=reinforced masonry structure anchored to bedrock with a flood control valve to protect the dam from excess water levels (and protect downstream properties from a flood event), and to allow flushing of sediment that will hinder the workings of the dam.

Does FLP just want a new dam to control weeds?

Answer: No. The dam is in poor condition and must be replaced for pond level control and flood control, and to protect the normal pond level.  That said, one additional benefit of a flood gate in the dam may allow (under extensive permits) an occasional partial drawdown (e.g. 3-4 feet) as an added means of controlling invasive plants that plague the pond. Such a drawdown would require in advance scientific studies, preparation of a bathymetric map, permits from the Conservation Commission and several agencies (State and Federal), local hearings, etc. This is a method used by other lakes in New England.