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Board gets dam update

September 17, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - An Albany engineering firm hired by the city Water Board to complete a state-required environmental assessment of the city's Cork Center Storage Reservoir Dam gave an update on progress recently, indicating no serious problems have been found.

City Water Department Senior Plant Operator Michael Hlozansky said today that Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany was hired by the board to work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC had mandated the Water Board submit engineering assessment by Aug. 19, which must be updated every 10 years.

However, Hlozansky said Greenman-Pedersen is still working on the assessment, with DEC's permission.

Article Photos

Engineer Eric Thorkildsen of Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany gives a
presentation on a city dam analysis last week to the Johnstown Water Board.
The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich

Eric Thorkildsen, an engineer with Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany, told the board last week that the Cork Center dam analysis is being done.

"We had some activity out there today," he said. "We had some drilling at the dam."

Thorkildsen said an eight-inch hole was bored to do some analysis and take soil samples. He said the tests had to go down several feet to "get a feeling for the rock" at the dam, and measure erosion from the crest to the base.

"They can figure how the seepage is going through the dam," he said.

The DEC found erosion and seepage at the city's Cork Center Storage Reservoir Dam during an inspection in April. The state found the dam's upstream slope is showing evidence of wave erosion. The state also found "sloughing," or embankment movement, at the dam's downstream area. Also found was "undesirable growth," such as saplings and trees, on the service spillway's right and left downstream training walls.

"All dams have seepage," Thorkildsen said. "It's just how much and where it's going."

He said his company can eventually install a pipe to protect the dam, or put in a "mini-manhole" at the site.

Thorkildsen said the Cork Center was constructed with a concrete core and the amount of water going through the dam is being measured. Nothing his firm found presents a "serious problem" so far. He said work being done will benefit the city's water system down the line.

"Now we'll have a nice good baseline," he said.



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