Mayfield, NY – On Saturday, May 7, as a precautionary measure, the Hudson River – Black River Regulating District activated the Conklingville Dam Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in response to an unusual change in a measurement taken at one of the monitoring points within the dam.
Readings taken at the monitoring point require the measurement of the water table within the dam using electronic equipment designed to sense the presence of water. The surface elevation of the water within the dam is measured with a sensor that is lowered into a 1-inch diameter pipe which extends approximately 75 feet below the surface of the dam. Consistent with the Regulating District’s dam safety plan and its procedures for monitoring during high reservoir elevation events, the frequency of measurements was expanded to include weekend monitoring.
Saturday’s unusual readings lead engineering staff to prudently activate the EAP as a precautionary measure. Condition B of the EAP is intended to notify emergency responders of a potentially hazardous situation.
Since the activation of the EAP, Regulating District engineering staff have re-evaluated and thoroughly reviewed the monitoring point data and the data collection process used by field personnel during the past week. Regulating District officials have been in contact with their geotechnical engineer and dam safety engineers from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to make a preliminary assessment of the situation. At this time engineers are focusing on the accuracy of the data and possible shifting of the monitoring equipment or reference point as the cause for the unusual change in measurement.
Regulating District engineers plan further consultation with federal dam safety officials and the project geotechnical engineer on Monday, May 9, to rule out any other possible cause for the unusual measurements. At that time, it is likely the emergency action plan will be deactivated.