July 24 – 30, 2020Vol. 22, No. 7

The Dams Keeper Report, 7/16/2020

by Dick Greenan

Enough with the rain already! Turn off the faucets! We have enough water! Our ponds are full as are our wells! Even are gardens and farms are doing great! Heck, even the lawns through the Village are green and exquisite!

As I write this week's column, we have received over 2" of rain in the past ten days but, we may be going back to our original forecast of a drought as we are now forecasted for just 0.41" of precipitation for the next 10 days.

I am pleased to report that both Great and Long Ponds are now about 3" ABOVE FULL POND. I cannot believe I am actually typing this! I never thought I would see Full Pond until sometime late fall — never mind three inches above full. This has not happened at this point in the summer for the past five years.

As of this fine morning, Great Pond is 2.76" above full pond with Long Pond actually 3.24" above full pond. Meaning, that the water going over their respective spillways is 3" deep. Over the past couple of days, the Dams Committee's quandary has been, "Do we open the gates to stem the tide as the levels will still be going up for a couple of more days due to drainage from the steep watershed, or do we hold tight and pray that the water levels stabilize sooner than later and no one loses their dock?"

Normally, we would also be concerned with the higher water levels washing out native loon nests but believe or not, there are no active loon nests on Great Pond and only two on Long Pond as I write this update. There are also no loon chicks on Great Pond and just four on Long Pond with a potential for just two more. This has been a dismal season for our loons but this discussion will have to be for another day. You may want to reach out to the Belgrade Lakes Association's website for updates on their all-important Loon Project.

As a reminder, Great Pond and Long Pond dams have been completely shut down for well over a month now, so your Dams Committee will remain in the "preserve the water levels at all cost" mode while anticipating a return to another drought.

The "permanent" repair on Wings Mill starts this week with installation of a new floating cofferdam to deter the water flow while they do the reconstruction. This is an incredible new technology that yours truly cannot wait to see. You, too, may want to visit the Wings Mill Dam on Wings Mill Road in Belgrade over the next few weeks for a look yourself. This is our tax dollars at work!

Enjoy the family, your vacation and this incredibly beautiful weather and please stay safe!

Dick Greenan is secretary to the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Dams Committee.