Q: Does Anyone Inspect the Beacon Dam?

Q: The dam on Mount Beacon is holding back 125 million gallons of water. Does anyone ever inspect it? I’m no engineer but I’d say it could use some patching up. ~Mary Fris, Beacon

The Beacon Dam (Photo by Mary Fris)

A: Anthony Ruggiero, Beacon’s city administrator, said engineers inspect the dam at the Beacon Reservoir, which was built in 1922, every two years. The most recent inspection, in October 2018, found nothing that posed a threat, he said.

In addition, on Sept. 17 the dam was inspected by engineers from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, who pointed out a number of maintenance issues that don’t affect the structural integrity of the dam, such as the deteriorating concrete visible on its face. Ruggiero says the city plans to repair the concrete next year.

The dam, which measures 350 feet long by 35 feet high, is considered a “Class C” structure by the state, meaning that a failure would cause “widespread and serious damage.” The Glenham Dam on Fishkill Creek, built in 1875, also has a C rating, as do the lower and upper Cold Spring reservoir dams.

State law requires that owners of Class C dams submit an annual certification, maintain an Emergency Action Plan and conduct inspections on an unspecified “regular schedule,” although they only need to submit the results to the state every 10 years, or if requested.

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