Monday, July 18, 2011

Removal of the Pequannock and Pompton Dams Proposed - Part 2

Pompton Dam & Pequannock DamImage by Christopher Lotito via Flickr
Yesterday we discussed the background of a project by the Division of Property Management and Construction within the New Jersey Department of the Treasury to remove the Pequannock and Pompton Dams in Pequannock and Wayne NJ, ostensibly to reduce flooding.  Today we look at some of the proposed benefits of this project, withholding final judgement until such time as sufficient engineering and environmental studies have been performed (note these studies have not been performed, even at this late stage in the planning process).

Benefits of Removal:

Removal of the dams may reduce flooding in the unpopulated Pequannock Aquatic Park by allowing water to flow downstream faster, rather than building up into a standing body of water upstream of the dams which is flushed out over a matter of hours and days.  Residents of townships north (upriver) of Pequannock also hope that removal of the dams will reduce flooding in their municipalities, though it's unclear how this would be achieved with the Pompton Lakes Dam still present.  Certainly those dwelling in flood areas between the Pequannock Dam and the Pompton Lakes Dam would have the most to benefit, if any true benefit were to be seen.

In short, it's unclear to me even the logic by which this project would benefit anyone: it reduces flood storage, those who would have benefited on Harrison Rd, River Drive, Thomas St, Pequannock Ave, and North Pequannock Ave in Pequannock and in Riverdale have already been bought out of their houses in a project spanning 3 decades, and it's likely to negatively impact homes downstream, especially those located near bends in the river where the river will tend to correct to a straight course through their homes (see: The Grand Canyon).  Any comments or relevant studies, please enlighten.

Tomorrow, Part 3: The Risks of Removal


Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock EnvironmentalHistoric District, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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