Leaky Pleasant Lake dam needs to be surveyed

AS WAS DISCOVERED this summer, more water has been escaping through cracks in the Pleasant Lake dam than going over the spillway, according to Town Manager Dave Morton. The boards of selectmen from Otisfield and Casco met on Tuesday to discuss a plan to repair the dam by next summer. (De Busk Photo)

AS WAS DISCOVERED this summer, more water has been escaping through cracks in the Pleasant Lake dam than going over the spillway, according to Town Manager Dave Morton. The boards of selectmen from Otisfield and Casco met on Tuesday to discuss a plan to repair the dam by next summer. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — The Pleasant Lake dam has been leaking, and that became more noticeable this summer.

While the dam, which was built in the 1970s, poses no threat to property downstream of it, a plan to survey the structure by next summer is in the making, according to Town Manager Dave Morton.

Already, the Town of Casco did “engage a professional engineer that specializes in small dams,” he said.

“The engineer said there was no immediate safety danger. But, (the engineer recommended that) we need to make repairs as soon as possible,” Morton said.

The first plan of action is simply to remove the tree roots that are adding to the problem, he said.

It was discovered this summer that some of the cracks in the dam were letting a significant volume of water through. While the quantity of water escaping was not a problem, there was a concern that the water current was allowing gravel to travel into the cracks, which could further deteriorate the dam.

On Tuesday, both the Casco and Otisfield boards of selectmen met with members of the Pleasant Lake-Parker Pond Lake Association to devise a plan moving forward.

A newly-formed subcommittee will continue to meet over the winter to figure out the steps required and come up with some hard numbers for Town Meeting in June, Morton said.

“Both towns will go to Town Meeting” to ask voters for approve a budget for a survey before steps to repair the dam can be taken, he said.

“We need a survey of the dam, the water depth, the structure below the water, and the area behind it so an engineer can make recommendations,” Morton said.

Getting the surveys done is considered the “soft costs to develop a plan,” he said.

“We are going to encounter upwards of $10,000 to $12,000,” which would correlate into about $5,000 to $6,000 for each town, he said.

Neither town has money in their budget for maintenance of the structure.

“Money is always a problem for municipalities. But, both boards understood the need for action,” he said.

 

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