DEM approves plan to repair Georgiaville Pond dam

DEM approves plan to repair Georgiaville Pond dam

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has approved a plan submitted by the town of Smithfield to make repairs on the Georgiaville Pond dam. The work includes repair of the dam’s two spillways and the low level outlets.

To complete the repair work, the pond will need to be lowered by as much as 13 feet below the normal elevation. Workers began lowering the pond this week, and are allowed to lower the water by as much as four vertical inches per day until it is 13 feet below normal elevation. Lowering of the pond must be completed by Oct. 31.

The pond may not need to be lowered the full 13 feet, according to the DEM. It is possible that a natural raised area in the pond bottom may be present upstream of the spillway. Such a raised area may be able to be used as a cofferdam to keep water out of the work area and allow the pond to remain at a higher level. This will not be determined until the pond’s water level is partially lowered. The pond will remain lowered until the repair work is completed, which is expected to happen in March 2014.

The repairs will be made at the northeastern end of the main dam, which is located on the southeastern end of Georgiaville Pond. The town of Smithfield owns the portion of the dam where the repairs will be made, and is making the repairs. The DEM is not requiring the town to make the repairs. DEM’s Dam Safety and Freshwater Wetlands programs reviewed and approved the proposed repair plan that was submitted by the town in August.

Georgiaville Pond Dam is classified by DEM as a high hazard dam, which means that failure or mis-operation will result in a probable loss of human life. The hazard classification has no relationship to the current condition of the dam, which is considered to be in overall fair condition.