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February 17, 2006

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

Full Notch at Gilboa Dam to Be Completed Tomorrow

First Siphons to Be Tested Soon

Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the full 200-foot by 5.5-foot notch at the Gilboa Dam is expected to be completed by tomorrow, Saturday, February 18, pending weather conditions.

The notch is being removed from the western end of the dam to help lower levels in the Schoharie Reservoir, to decrease the chance of flooding, and to facilitate the installation of post-tensioned anchoring cables as part of the DEP’s ongoing stabilization project. The full notch builds on a smaller interim notch that was cut out of the top of the dam last Saturday.

“I am enormously pleased that the notch has been completed ahead of schedule.  This significantly reduces the possibility of a dam failure.  I hope this will lessen the concerns of area residents.  I would like to thank the many people who have worked very hard to accomplish this, including Jett Industries, the contractor doing the work,” said Commissioner Lloyd.

Snow pack around the reservoir is virtually none, further decreasing the chances of a large flood from snow melt that could compromise the dam.  A DEP snow survey on February 15 found the water equivalent of the Schoharie Reservoir snow pack to be 300 million gallons, only 3.4% of the 8.7 billion gallons of snow pack this time last year.  On January 2, 1996, the last snow survey before the flood of record, the snow pack was 12.31 billion gallons.

The testing of the first two of four siphons at the dam will begin on February 23.  Each siphon will be able to remove 125 million gallons a day (MGD) form the reservoir, for a total of 500 MGD when all the siphons are installed by the first week of March.  Combined with the 575 MGD that is currently being diverted through the Shandaken Tunnel, the siphons will raise the amount of water that can be removed form the reservoir to over 1.1 billion gallons a day.  The maximum storage of the reservoir is around 19 billion gallons.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600