Plan Approved to Repair Flat River Reservoir Dam

By ecoRI News staff

COVENTRY, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has approved a plan submitted by the Quidnick Reservoir Co., owner of the Flat River Reservoir Dam, to make repairs to the structure. The work will involve the repair of the dam’s three low-level outlets.

In order to complete the repair work, the pond will need to be lowered 12 feet below normal elevation, according to DEM. The dam owner is expected to begin lowering the pond in early September, and is allowed to lower the water up to 3 vertical inches a day until it’s 12 feet below normal elevation. Lowering of the pond must be completed by Oct. 31.

The pond will remain lowered until repair work is complete, which is expected to occur by January.

The dam owner is proactively making the repairs. DEM isn’t requiring the owner to make the repairs. DEM’s Dam Safety and Freshwater Wetlands programs reviewed and approved the proposed repair application that was submitted by the dam owner in February.

DEM classifies the Flat River Reservoir Dam as a high-hazard dam, which means that failure or improper operation could 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, according to DEM.