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To respond to community concerns during the planning of the Lake Whitney Water Treatment Plant, we hired a team of environmental scientists to conduct an environmental evaluation of the project’s potential impacts on areas upstream and downstream of the Lake Whitney dam, the waterfall and the site of the existing filtration plant. A report summarizing findings and recommendations was completed in January of 1999 and included recommendations for ongoing environmental monitoring and performance standards to mitigate potential impacts of future water withdrawals.
We operate the Whitney Water Treatment Plant in accordance with the Whitney Management Plan. It is a dynamic document that is sensitive to both water supply needs and environmental issues, and can be changed to reflect new information gained from experience in operating the plant and mitigation measures. We worked cooperatively with a multidisciplinary environmental study team and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to develop the plan.
In addition to the information regularly updated here, we discuss the current status of Management Plan implementation at our annual public meeting each February. We are fully committed to carrying out the obligations of the Management Plan and operating the Lake Whitney Water Treatment Plant in a manner that will mitigate any impacts resulting from plant operation upon associated environmental resources.
The Water Treatment Plant continues to operate in accordance with the Management Plan. Click here for information on lake levels, spillway flows and water withdrawals. Other studies and reports can be found here.
This fall, you may see RWA employees and contractors at work in the area around Lake Whitney near the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Armory Street. They will be conducting test borings in advance of a project to rehabilitate the Whitney Dam. The Whitney Dam, built in the 1860s, is one of the RWA’s oldest pieces of infrastructure. It has received regular maintenance from the RWA to maintain a high level of safety and performance, and the project we are currently planning will ensure it remains strong and operational for another century.
The borings will be conducted on the dam structure and the lake bottom using a barge in order to collect data that will be used in a preliminary design for the rehabilitation. Once the borings are done, we will begin designing the project and planning for execution. During periods where the lake will be below spillway to accommodate borings, 4.2 million gallons of water per day will be released to maintain downstream ecosystems and satisfy requirements of the Management Plan. We expect to begin the physical rehabilitation project in approximately two years.