Construction to increase on Easton reservoir dam

Construction work being done at the Aspetuck Reservoir Dam will increase toward the end of July and into August.

The rehabilitation project, which began in March, will pick up the pace before the end of July, according to the director of public relations for the Aquarion Water Company, Peter Fazekas.

The dam on Black Rock Turnpike in Easton is an Aquarion-owned water source for Aquarion’s William S. Warner Treatment Plant in Fairfield, which provides public drinking water to customers in the greater Bridgeport region.

Fazekas said the work being done to the dam is “standard,” and Aquarion recently finished a similar project in Greenwich.

“There’s a normal cycle to these things,” said Fazekas.

Rehabbing the Easton dam is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete, according to Fazekas.

“We’re expecting to finish up all of the work by September 2019,” said Fazekas.

Improvements to the dam include restoration of the earthen banks of the dam, renewal of the concrete spillway, rehabilitation of the two gatehouses, and the replacement of aeration equipment.

In addition to these improvements, the project will also incorporate infrastructure for two environmental initiatives. Aquarion, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the United States Geological Society, has been working to develop methods to restore eel migrations routes.

Fazekas said structures, such as dams, often cause migration problems for eels. This issue led to Aquarion developing a permanent solution to the migrating problem which is a “weir gate” to control the flow of water and a landing pool have been incorporated into the project.

Aquarion issued a release stating that these improvements are designed specifically to provide safe passage for the eels into the Aspetuck River.

Additionally, the notch and weir gate will help Aquarion to comply with future streamflow water release requirements in order to improve the health of the state’s rivers, the company also stated in its release.

Project permit applications have been filed with both the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Construction on the dam will take place during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is not expected to cause traffic delays.

As a result of the property being owned by Aquarion Water Company, it did not have to go before the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission for the approval of its planned modifications to the dam.

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