Watershops Dam Project

This page is to provide information and updates to the public regarding the Watershops Dam Project.  Questions or comments should be directed to Tina Quagliato Sullivan at tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com

Las preguntas o inquietudes en español pueden enviarse por correo electrónico a Julisa-Davila Ramos a JDavila-Ramos@springfieldcityhall.com

Project Update - December 1, 2020

The City is asking all residents to please stay off the drained area of Watershops Pond.  You may have heard that a resident sunk into the mud up to their chest over the weekend and it required an extensive rescue effort by the Springfield Fire Department.  Please know that the mud surrounding the pond is extremely mushy and can present a quick-sand effect hazard to those walking in it.  While the City believes it will dry out and harden up a bit after having been drained, that likely wont happen for months.  In the meantime, the City is urging all residents to avoid endangering themselves and please steer clear of the drained pond at this time. 

Project Update - November 12, 2020

The pond water levels have drained to the levels they are expected to remain at for the duration of construction.  You may have read on social media about turtles leaving the pond and attempting to cross Wilbraham Road.  The City's Environmental Specialist has teamed up with Mass Wildlife and the T.J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center to catch the turtles leaving the pond before they reach the road, and they are being relocated to an appropriate new home at Mill Pond. The City and T.J.O'Connor continue to monitor the site multiple times per day, to ensure the turtles are being caught before they enter the roadway. To date approximately 60 turtles have been relocated, with the majority being painted turtles.  In addition, one Red Eared Slider and one large Common Snapping turtle have also been relocated. 

The City performed an environmental impact report prior to the commencement of the project, that is available for public review here.  The City intentionally began the drawdown after temperatures dropped significantly during a normally colder part of the year, in part to reduce impact to area wildlife. However, while temperatures were quite cold when the City began the drawdown, environmental experts have advised that the recent unseasonably warm weather have caused the turtles to relocate more rapidly than anticipated.  The City has also explored building a silt barrier to keep the turtles contained to the existing area, but have determined in consultation with the environmental experts that it would likely not achieve the desired outcome, as the turtles would dig under it or move around the barrier to reach their desired location.

The T.J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center have posted the location with their contact information, and we are urging the public to use caution when driving in this area of Wilbraham Road. If the public sees turtles attempting to cross the road please contact T.J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center at 413-781-1484.  

Project Update - November 5, 2020

Water levels throughout Watershops Pond continue to drop.  The City anticipates water levels will continue decreasing through this weekend, at which time the levels will stabilize to the amount they will remain throughout the duration of the temporary drawdown while construction work happens at the dam.  There has been some media coverage about vehicles in the pond, this was anticipated.  The City conducted sonar scanning prior to the drawdown that identified approximately 6-7 vehicles within the pond, the police department has begun to tow these vehicles and will check them against incident reports.  We encourage everyone to continue to check back here for project updates. 

Questions and comments should be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com

 

Project Update - October 29, 2020

Mayor Sarno, Congressman Neal and other City officials held a press announcement at the Watershops Dam today to announce the beginning of the temporary drawdown and the construction schedule. The bottom of the pond is deeper than the low-level outlets at the dam; thus, a residual pool will remain in the deepest portions of the pond basin. The schedule for drawdown is as follows:

Target Date to Commence Drawdown: October 26, 2020

Target Date to Attain Full Drawdown: November 7, 2020

Normal Water Surface Elevation of Watershops Pond: 154.3± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Normal Area of Watershops Pond: 192.6± acres

Water Surface Elevation of Residual Pool during Drawdown: 140.5± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Area of Residual Pool during Drawdown: 20± acres

Deepest Point Within Watershops Pond: 135.8± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Target Date to Commence Refilling of Watershops Pond: April 1, 2022

Target Date to Complete Refilling of Watershops Pond: April 22, 2022

Should the dam repairs be completed sooner than anticipated by the Project schedule, the City may refill the pond in the fall of 2021, if weather events provide sufficient rainfall to do so. Please note that the target dates are approximate and actual times to complete the drawdown or refilling of the pond will be dependent on weather conditions during the operations.

Questions or comments should be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com 

 

Watershops Pond Temporary Drawdown Notice

The City of Springfield has issued a Notice of Temporary Drawdown of Watershops Pond (Lake Massasoit) to begin on October 23, 2020. Full schedule of activity:

Target Date to Commence Drawdown:                                    October 23, 2020

Target Date to Attain Full Drawdown:                                          November 1, 2020

  • Normal Water Surface Elevation of Watershops Pond:               154.3± feet above sea level (NAVD88)
  • Normal Area of Watershops Pond:                                              192.6± acres
  • Water Surface Elevation of Residual Pool during Drawdown:     140.5± feet above sea level (NAVD88)
  • Area of Residual Pool during Drawdown:                                     20± acres
  • Deepest Point Within Watershops Pond:                                     135.8± feet above sea level (NAVD88)

Target Date to Commence Refilling of Watershops Pond:     April 1, 2022

Target Date to Complete Refilling of Watershops Pond:              April 22, 2022

 

All questions or comments should be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com. 

Watershops Pond Dam Project - Single Environmental Impact Report (SEIR)

The City has recently filed a Single Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Project, pursuant to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  This document includes a detailed description of the Project, an alternatives analysis, and an evaluation of potential environmental impacts and mitigation for those impacts.  The SEIR includes the Certificate from the Executive Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs on the EENF, and provides responses to all comments received on the EENF.  You can view this document by clicking on this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/m3dl7kzrnwn0wqx/EEA%20no.%2016234%20-%20Watershops%20Pond%20SEIR.pdf?dl=0

 

City Council Sub-Committee Meeting Scheduled to Discuss Watershops Dam Project

The Springfield City Council Maintenance and Development sub-commitee has scheduled a virtual public meeting for August 25, 2020 at 10:00 am.  City officials will provide updates and information on the project.  

Meeting access information: 


Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84165681998
Meeting ID: 841 6568 1998

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kqJ8jtmlo

City to Present Watershops Dam Project to the Springfield Parks Commission

City officials intend to present the planned Watershops Dam Project to the Springfield Parks Commission on July 16, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.  This is a public meeting and the public may view and access this presentation via zoom, through the information below:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://gza.zoom.us/j/9888347763

Meeting ID: 988 834 7763
Password: 726872

Find your local number: https://gza.zoom.us/u/adTVHaR6h0

 

 

Public Notice of EENF under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)

On June 15, 2020, the City filed an Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  Public notice of the EENF was provided in The Environmental Monitor on June 24 and in the legal ads section of the Springfield Republican in the June 24 edition (see attached copy of the legal ad).  The EENF provides a full description of the Project, its potential for environmental impacts, and proposed mitigation for any unavoidable impacts.  State agencies that must issue permits and approvals will use the MEPA review process to assess the Project’s overall environmental impacts and proposed mitigation of unavoidable impacts.  The project requires MEPA review through a Mandatory Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  The City has requested a Waiver from the requirement to prepare a mandatory EIR or, alternately, approval to prepare a Single EIR.

Watershops Dam Public Presentation

This public presentation has been prepared by the City of Springfield Office of Disaster Recovery, Office of Capital Asset Construction and the City's consultant GZA Geoenvironmental, Inc.  The presentation provides background information on the planned resilience upgrade projects to the Watershops Dam, history of the dam and Watershops Pond and understanding of the funding sources. All members of the public and abutters to Watershops Pond are encouraged to watch the video. All questions and comments may be directed to tquagliato@springfieldcityhall.com.  

Watershops Pond Dam Project - Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF)

The City has recently filed an Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) for the Project, pursuant to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).  That document includes a detailed description of the Project, an alternatives analysis, and an evaluation of potential environmental impacts and mitigation for those impacts.  You can view this document by clicking on the heading above this paragraph. 

Page last updated:  Tuesday, December 1, 2020 10:12 am