Tale of two dams

To the Valley News:

Did you know there are two dams on Lincoln Pond?

We are all familiar with the first dam at the end of Kingdom Dam Road and the fact that it is deteriorating and needs to be replaced. New York State has recognized this fact and at some time in the future (when?) the dam is scheduled to be replaced. If the dam does fail, Lower Pond will be left with essentially a stream bed coursing through it.

The second dam is County Road 7 (Lincoln Pond Road). This dam, like Kingdom Dam, restricts water flow. Kingdom Dam created Lincoln Pond as we know it today. I have been told by the real old timers of the area that there was originally a proper bridge which coursed over the Pond and allowed the free flow of water under it. This bridge allowed the pond to flow and properly exit the waters under it. Essentially, the pond flushed itself of debris. The water flow from Upper Pond to Lower Pond was unimpeded and the pond was healthy and vibrant. It was further said that you could actually dive off that bridge into the water below. That would not be recommended now.

About 15 to 20 years ago, Essex County replaced the roadway over the pond and filled in the pond from both opposing shores with trap rock and what looks like tailings from the old local mines. They then placed in the middle a cast concrete conduit with interior dimensions of 10 foot by 10 foot. The water depth at best in this conduit is three feet deep. Therefore, there is an opening of 30 square feet to allow all the water of Upper Pond to flow into Lower Pond. This is totally inadequate to allow the proper flushing of this body of water. Not only is Upper Pond silting in because of this restriction, but Lower Pond is also silting in because this restricted water flow is not broad enough through Lower Pond. Just look at the Upper Pond side of County 7 versus the Lower Pond side. You will see a tremendous accumulation of silting and debris backed up on the Upper Pond side but not on the Lower pond side of the County 7 roadway. Also view the swift current of water flowing through the conduit as the waters of Upper Pond are funneled through it. The flow is so swift that in the winter, no matter how cold it is, the water exiting the conduit on the Lower Pond side never freezes.

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