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Water level lowered at Black Rock Lake to allow for repairs to dam, debris cleanup

USACE, New England District
Published Aug. 12, 2022

 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District announced today that the water level of Black Rock Lake in Thomaston, Connecticut, is currently being lowered to allow workers to make repairs to the dam and clean up debris and sediment. Black Rock Dam staff, in conjunction with USACE’s Reservoir Control Center, are releasing minimal water flows from the lake so that fish and reptiles will slowly follow the receding water.

The current lack of rain in the region has made the process even faster as water inflow has been minimal. No road closures are expected during this maintenance work. The work involves repairing spalled concrete on the spillway weir, replacing a ladder that goes into the inlet to inspect the inlet, and replacing the tile gauge on the side of the inlet wall. These regular maintenance repairs are needed to maintain the facility and inlet which are more than 50 years old. Once the lake is drawn down, work is expected to be completed within two to four
weeks. While the water pool is down, staff will also be cleaning debris in the area of the log boom and removing accumulated sediment from areas.

The contract for this maintenance work was awarded for approximately $167,000 to Trident Waterproofing, Inc., from Tiverton, Rhode Island in the fall of 2021.

The Black Rock Dam built on Branch Brook was initially built in response to the destructive flood of 1955. The dam is located adjacent to Black Rock State Park along the Thomaston-Watertown line. The Black Rock Dam is a part of a network of flood control dams and local protection projects built by USACE in the Naugatuck River Basin. The dam initially cost $8.2 million to build.

Construction started in July 1967 and was completed in July 1971. The project has prevented more than $217 million in flood damages since it was built.

For more information about Black Rock Lake, visit the USACE District website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Black-Rock-Lake/.

Bryan Purtell

Release no. 22-021