FAQLink to the Q+A Session from the June 4 public information session held at the Fabius-Pompey Middle/High School
Q: WHAT IS THE DERUYTER RESERVOIR DAM?
A: The DeRuyter Dam contains the DeRuyter Reservoir, a manmade 575-acre lake in Madison and Onondaga counties built during the Civil War to provide water to the Erie Canal, though it no longer serves that purpose. It is now used for local recreation and as a water source for some homes along the reservoir. The dam for the reservoir is owned and operated by the New York State Canal Corporation.
Q: ARE THERE ISSUES POTENTIALLY AFFECTING ITS SAFETY?
A: The dam is classified by the state Department of Environmental Conservation as a high-hazard structure. That means communities downstream from the dam would likely suffer severe damage or loss of life if the dam failed. While there is no imminent danger of failure, extensive repairs are needed to ensure long-term safety and integrity of the dam and its appurtenant structures.
Q: WHAT KINDS OF REPAIRS NEED TO BE DONE?
A: The stability of the dam embankment—which impounds the water—will be improved. Crews will also install drainage systems, repair a spillway chute and build new low-level outlets for the dam. In order to minimize safety risks while repairs are being done, water levels on the reservoir will need to be lowered 10 feet.
Q: HOW WILL THE PROJECT AFFECT PEOPLE WHO USE THE RESERVOIR TO FISH OR GO BOATING?
A: The Canal Corporation recognizes that many people use the reservoir during the summer months for recreation. Accordingly, repairs and the lowering of the reservoir will begin after Labor Day in 2019 (Sept. 2).
Q: WHAT IF I LIVE DOWNSTREAM FROM THE RESERVOIR?
A: Residents who live downstream from the reservoir could see increased water levels when water is drawn down. Water releases will increase and remain sustained until water levels are reduced 10 feet and will be regulated to maintain the reservoir level during construction. The Canal Corporation will take remedial steps to minimize any impacts.
Q: HOW LONG WILL THE PROJECT TAKE TO COMPLETE?
A: The Canal Corporation expects repairs to take 10-12 months to complete. Water levels on the reservoir are expected to return to normal in time for the peak recreation season in 2020.
Q: HOW CAN I GET UPDATES ABOUT THE PROJECT?
Q: WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
A: Contact Michael Morris at Jacqueline.Schillinger @canals.ny.gov or (518) 449-6049.