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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone at HPA has ever been to the<span style="font-weight: bold"> Meadow Grounds Lake</span> in Fulton County, they will appreciate this beautiful water resource. The PA DEP is planning on "drawing down" this lake indefinitely, for what they call a "precaution".

This is another totally stupid action by the PA DEP that will ruin this lake. A PGC WCO from Fulton County (Carl Jarrett) was instrumental in the development of this lake around 1965.

Many hunters & fishermen use this lake for fishing, boating, waterfowl hunting, etc., and as an access for parts of State Game Lands 53.

<span style="font-weight: bold">Please contact your state senators and representatives and ask them to require the PA DEP to provide clear evidence that this lake is actually causing any safety issue.</span>

http://www.publicopiniononline.com/latestnews/ci_22636540/meadow-grounds-lake-be-drained-dam-is-high

McCONNELLSBURG -- The dam at Meadow Grounds Lake in Ayr Township, Fulton County, is to be drawn down indefinitely.
The dam has been identified to be a high hazard.

The Department of Environmental Protection has declared the dam to be deficient, according to a spokeswoman with Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Hollidaysburg.

The lake is to be drained starting March 4 and remain indefinitely at low water, according to a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Ruth Strait, director of the Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, said that DEP told her that the lake was being drained as a precaution because the dam has a seepage problem.

The 204-acre lake, located in State Games Lands 53, was drained in October 2010 so the dam could be repaired over the next eight months. The Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee's 2008 audit of the agency estimated that repairs to the dam would cost $2.25 million.

The Fish Commission in 2012 placed structures in the water to improve fish habitat.

(Re-Posted with permission from Ole' Raspy)
 

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They needed some structure in that lake.

On the dam issue. this is a huge issue in this state made worse by the past infamous failure of a dam. In many cases the dams being targeted are legacy dams. that is dams the state inherited in land deals made by others.

Now years later, these dams are showing their age. By their very nature, it is expensive and time consuming to make repairs to them - thus the high price tags being bandied about.

These legacy cost, the maintenance and repair costs, are going to become more and more common I the near future. The list will grow fro around the state as well.

The high cost of repair is going to strap the PFBC far more than it is now. But the DCNR and even the GC have dams in need of repair. Until the funding can be secured, the only real option for the high hazard dams is to draw the lakes down. Minimize the amount of water available for a failure of the dam as well as relief the pressure on the dam.

There is no easy answer. Getting any funding out of the general fund will be nearly impossible. it might also come with strings attached that might make accepting it dangerous to sporting traditions or conservation efforts.

One thing is sure, this will not be the last dam to make the list or receive this treatment.
 

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Mack,

Question for you.

Is the dam seeping?

What happens if it fails and the dam is breached? How many people and what property will be affected?

Now, that said, is thee a study or determination available to see what is actually happening according to professional engineers? If so, please provide a link.

Not saying I won't support you, but I needs more information other than an opinion of how unfair this is to get my support. Facts cement the position. Emotion only muddies the water.
 

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For those of you looking at the pictures. The bridge in the picture I helped build. I shot my first and a few other buck there and several doe. I have never seen any water seeping in all my times there.
 

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The drawdown follows dam repairs two years ago and the installation last year of underwater structures to improve fish habitat.

<span style="font-weight: bold">"When our engineers and DEP's dam safety staff were inspecting the facility in December, they found that the seepage had become more severe, leading to the decision to draw it down," said Eric Levis, Fish Commission press secretary. "We have to place public safety first, regardless of when or how many habitat structures may have been installed.".....</span>


The lake's immediate future does not look good. <span style="font-weight: bold">The Fish Commission already manages 15 unsafe, high hazard dams, excluding the Meadow Grounds. Six of the dams have yet to be funded for $38 million in repairs. </span>


"The lake will be drawn down indefinitely until funding can be identified and secured to make the necessary repairs," Levis said. "At this point, the PFBC
 

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These are the reasons why it is important to fund our game agencies properly. In the end, failure to do so affects all of directly in some manner. Maybe not today, but for sure down the line.

to be clear, many point to the cash cow Marcellus Shale is and will be. However, due to federal law and where and how that money came from, it has restricted uses for both fish and game.

The PFBC has the added problem of not having a lot of land in the Marcellus areas.

Sadly, this will not be the last dam added to this list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm very skeptical about this whole project.


Why did the F&BC wait to issue a news release until one week prior to the beginning of the planned draw down ? Did they want it drained before the general public and sportsmen found out about their plans ?

We're big boys ... tell us the truth ... this is the transition of a valuable water resource to a 204 acre pine plantation.
 

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Tried to do same thing here in Western PA with Hereford Manor lakes..
Petitions & all... To no avail both lakes gone...
No one cared at any govt agency or group.. Sorry to say, very sad.
Btw never a leak anywhere
 

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Have to ask them plinker. I have no idea and not nearly as involved in PFBC stuff as GC. More a hunter than a fisherman. But enjoy both.


I am sure the regional PFBC would meet or at least answer questions posed to them. Ask, find out.
 

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Bluetick, I am not doubting the seepage, rather the petition serves as a means to delay the drawdown to allow for proper time to explore funding options or alternatives to an indefinite closure. I am curious what damage a breach would cause myself, off the top of my head I'm struggling to think of much in its path, nestled in a mountainous valley as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've submitted requests for the engineer's reports.

If there is an imminent safety hazard, then I want to see the qualifications of the person making that determination, and specifically where the "leaks" are supposed to be located within the dam structure ? ? ?

In my opinion, the many back roads in Fulton County without any guide rails are more a threat to someone's safety than this dam is ... and PennDOT doesn't seem too concerned about that safety hazard ! ! !
 

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I am not a dam engineere but I don't think that building a dam without a spillway is permissable. It's inderently unsafe to not have an outlet that prevents the dam from being topped by the lake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
always out said:
Are they going to take the spillway out? If not how will the natural creek feed roaring Run.
The water exiting the low level drain valve will flow back into Roaring Run down stream from the dam/spillway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here is a link to the PA F&BC 2012 report:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/127576529/Dam-inspection-from-2012-of-the-dam-at-Meadow-Grounds-Lake

After reading this report from on-site PA F&BC inspectors (professional engineers), I see no mention in the report about any imminent threats, or any mention that they observed anything that could cause a catastrophic failure of the dam. They note minor seepage, and that recent repairs seem to have been effective. What am I missing?

Also, could naturally occurring springs on the down-stream side of the dam be causing the "wet" areas ?

Seems like when the report went to Harrisburg ... red flags shot up ! ! !
 

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Plinkerman, you are spot on here with this post, good job digging this up. I doubt if the we areas are naturally occuring springs though, they would have still been there when the lake was drawn down for the first repairs to the left side, and apparently cleared up when the repairs were made. I too wonder where the danger is here. Also of note, the report was submitted to the head of the Susquehanna watershed division, I was under the impression that roaring run was a tributary to the potomac river, granted , both enter the chesapeake bay, but where does the Susquehanna come into play here? Good digging on your part, and good reading as well.
 

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Not so fast. The report clearly raises issues of seepage. Not just in one spot as well. Did you read the forms below the report?

Then at the bottom there are a few other documents. The center one is dated Feb 14 of this year from PFBC Engineering. This portion is interesting (added spacing is mine to make reading easier):



In the event of a dam failure a total of 163 residents and65 homes would be negatively impacted.........


<span style="font-weight: bold">In 1965 upon filling the reservoir</span>, <span style="font-weight: bold">water began emanating from the downstream left abutment-embankment</span> contact prompting the unsuccessful remedial extension of the left “toe” drain.

<span style="font-weight: bold">Shortly after reservoir filling similar seeps were observed emanating from the right downstream abutment-embankment</span> contact area and wet areas were observed downstream of the principal spillway outlet structure.

<span style="font-weight: bold">These wet areas and seeps were again documented in the US Army Corps of Engineers Meadow Grounds Dam Phase 1 Inspection Report, dated August 1979.</span>



<span style="font-weight: bold">The Phase 1 inspection report recommended that “Drainage and seepage conditions should be reevaluated and remedial measures implemented.” To date, no official engineering evaluation of the seepage has occurred.</span>



<span style="font-weight: bold">These seeps from the abutment-embankment contact indicate that water is flowing through the fractured shale foundation that the dam was built upon </span>as seen on the original project plans (Sheet 3 of 11 “Core Boring Results & CL Location”).


<span style="font-weight: bold">If not corrected these seeps could lead to a serious dam safety condition known as piping. Piping along the abutment-embankment contact is a well documented type of failure that can occur during normal conditions, known as a “sunny day” failure. </span>


By impounding any water within the reservoir there is significant risk of a “sunny day” dam embankment failure.

<span style="font-weight: bold">A “sunny day” embankment failure is defined as the sudden, rapid and uncontrolled release of impounded water that can occur unexpectedly without warning and may not be caused by a rainfall event.</span>


/// Page two would not load///

http://www.scribd.com/doc/127576515/Meadow-Grounds-Lake-Dam-Engineering-Evaluation-Summary-Feb-2013



Added - page two from this link:

http://www.publicopiniononline.com/ci_22...rce=most_viewed

Page two


In 2005, PFBC attempted to mitigate the seepage emanating from the right and left abutment-embankment contacts using gravel drains or “French drains” with little success. In June 2011 a sandfilter style of drain was built along the left downstream abutment-embankment contact and to date,appears to be controlling but not slowing the seepage in that area.

<span style="font-weight: bold">In May 2012 the gravel drain on the right abutment-embankment contact was damaged when high flows through the drain washed outmuch of the aggregate within the trench.</span>

On February 12th, 2012 PADEP Division of Dam Safety deemed the Meadow Grounds Dam spillwayseriously inadequate because the spillway was found to only able to safely pass approximately 52% of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF). The PADEP Division of Dam Safety recommends that the reservoirbe lowered or completely drain the dam until a rehabilitation project was complete.

<span style="font-weight: bold">By regulation a highhazard dam must be able to convey 100% of the design flood without endangering the safety or integrityof the dam as perPennsylvania Code, Title 25, Chapter 105, Subchapter B, Section 105.94.</span>






This in conjunction with the conditions cited on the link you provided should be cause for concern. Trained professionals have deemed this dam as problematic. I am sure the 164 people that will be affected if this 204 acre impoundment fails appreciate the action.


Apparently, this dam has had issues since it was first filled. 50 years later the problems still exist. More alarming, is that after numerous repair attempts, the problems remain.

Read a bit further and take a serious look at what is being reported in conjunction with the history. Then take a hard look at what can happen if the draw down doesn't happen.

No one, myself included, wants to lose a resource like MG Lake. But I will not feel good if recreationalist pressure keeps the dam open only to fail at the cost of life and property later.

Pennsylvania has a history with that exact thing. Just because 100 years has passed since that infamous failure, the lesson is clear. Dam hydrology is a science unto itself and best left to those that understand it, and know what is going on.

Sorry to disagree with those that see no issues here with the first report. The reasons are indeed listed, then further supported by the second document. Wishful thinking and conspiracy theories don't change that. sound science and documented history of this and other dams and the problems they had, and the reasons why do carry the weight and authority not to second guess the recommendation.
 
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