Great? Dam Meeting Tonight

6:30 -9pm at the High School(New)

The  link to our Town Website with all the documents is at the end of this post, the report is about 700 pages(geesh) and took 10 years to complete since the Town was informed it’s dam was deficient. I did read a  great deal  of the report over the weekend. Really, about the same amount as the major players, I checked.

I hope we skip  some of the technical studies and get to the meat tonight.

Here  is my short list of the “big” issues that are buried amidst all the technical jargon in the report.

The Mill Apartments- The  Mill has a pipe at the dam from which they charge their sprinklers and distribute another portion to their AC chillers. They own that pipe( this agreement goes way back) and any drop in water level at the impoundment will mean that intake will have to be lowered, maybe. The Town might have to pay for that work so the Mill continues to receive free water. The Town also has a few fire hydrants that with fire engine vacuum applied  can draw water from the Mills pipe, known as a penstock.

The Town has an intake for our water system near Gilman Park, that intake may need adjustments. I have to continually clean toilets here  because of that water  which in the Fall is loaded with organics, the leaves and such that build up in a River that is not free running.

Exeter Academy withdraws about 50000 gallons of free water  for a boiler and sprinkling playing fields.

Most of the fixes to retain the Great? Dam include regular massaging by  DPW. I can remember that we had an issue once with water levels and when dispatched to lower to water the mechanical device was not in working order, and the gears had broken teeth. There is a hokey inflatable  device being proposed for the Great? Dam that would require many regular man hours for maintenance.

The View? Most pictures being taken of the Dam are from the String Bridge  not the Great Bridge. There is a natural Dam , a granite shelf that will still provide a waterfall, and the water spilling over will not be dead water . I took many pictures of the draw down of the River the great experiment conducted to check the look. Yes, it looked a bit raw, but I could easily imagine it’s Spring appearance.

Very few if any people took the time to view that, I was all over the River on many days and witnessed no knots of citizens gasping in horror.

The Great? Dam is only a few feet of concrete sitting on that shelf.

In time you will love the free river once it readjusts from it’s long imprisonment, new bank vegetation will appear, and fish will be able to migrate . You will be able to hear it flowing,it will sparkle. The water will contain oxygen.

The River Study Committee took too long to present a report and now here we are in Summer and we want to have a public discussion?

The Great? Dam should be removed .


Another Dam meeting

I attended the meeting last night at Town Hall with about 50 other folks. If  you were to employ Tuckers pure citizen count, 40.

I left  after they finally( 20 plus minutes of  introductions)  got to the meat and the consultant dismissed concerns about  sediment, and flow  rate changes , and were heading off into  cultural resources. I am not that  interested in those discussions.

Here is all you need to know, if the Dam gets removed it will have no effect  on the Squamscott River below the Dam  and a negligible effect upstream. The Squamscott below the dam is not layered with toxic sediments from the Mill. It was a very good report. The only effect upstream might be that  some areas that are prone to  flooding, now could be suitable for homes.


Frankly I can see no impediment  to removal.