Engineers Say 'Leaks' In New Star Lake Dam Are Not Cause For Alarm

May 31, 2016

Last summer Star Lake, a popular recreation spot in Mount Holly, was drained so the dam that holds back the lake could be replaced. Now that the work is complete, the lake has filled back up and the floating raft has been put in, the recreation area is ready to again play host to summer fun. But some people are worried the dam isn't holding back all the water it should.

Friends of Star Lake Committee Co-Chairman Ron Unterman sent out an email on the town's listserv, the Mount Holly Newsflash, on Sunday addressing those concerns.

"I’ve had several calls about the two 'leaks' coming through the steel sheet piling on the back side of the Star Lake dam," he wrote. "These have been present ever since the dam was completed in October."

Unterman went on to outline a response from Dubois & King, the firm that engineered the dam:

  1. This is not a safety issue; this type of seepage is not uncommon and will not cause a dam failure.
  2. Seepage like this generally slows over time as silt plugs the soil pores.
  3. When the Vermont Dam Safety Department comes for their annual safety inspection this summer they will review this.

Unterman also noted he and a partner have timed the flow and "over the past several months it appears to be slowing."