NORWAY — Town officials hope to make improvements to the Norway Lake dam next year for better control of the water level.

The plan is to use up to $100,000 to repair the dam, either in 2015 or 2016.

“It’s not a cause for immediate alarm, but is part of a maintenance program,” Town Manager David Holt said Monday. Money is set aside each year for the maintenance of the dam.

Holt said water has been seeping around the boards for a while, but there has been no particular increase in the amount this year. It has, however, caused a problem in keeping the water level where officials want it, he said.

The dam was last inspected in 2011 and was found to be in satisfactory condition, Lynnette Miller of the Maine Emergency Management Agency said.

The dam is one of two that regulate water levels in the 5-mile-long Norway Lake, also known as Pennesseewassee Lake. The dam at the top of Water and Main streets at the outlet of the lake is controlled by the town, while a private dam at the corner of Lower Main Street and Route 26 by Aubuchon Hardware is controlled by a private power company.

Over the years, the Norway Lake Association has complained about the lake level. If the lake level gets too high, the water threatens homes along the lakefront and erodes the soil. If the water level falls too low, boats can be damaged.

Boards can be raised or lowered to control the level of the water, Holt said.

Holt said work was done about 15 years ago on the gate, which is housed in a small building on top of the dam and used to lower the water level in a hurry, if necessary.

The dam at the outlet of Pennesseewassee Lake 24 the state classifies as “high hazard potential.”

The designation means that misoperation or failure of the dam could affect property and lives downstream. In this case, it would be the downtown business district.

It does not mean that the dam is a danger, Miller said. The county has an emergency preparedness plan in place in case of a breach, she said.

The dam is believed to have been built in about 1930 by Central Maine Power Co., according to MEMA records, but a dam has been in that location for many more years.

 In 1947, a CMP crew put on a coffer dam with concrete reinforcement and old wood was replaced.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.