Dam damage darn near empties Collins Pond

6 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — High water runoff caused a dam near Collins Pond in Caribou to break earlier this year, resulting in the pond being “drier than it has ever been,” according to Caribou Parks and Recreation Superintendent Gary Marquis.

Marquis said Tuesday he is in the process of filling out an application for the Department of Environmental Protection to assist in repairing the damage. While he hopes to submit the application this week, he said it can take up to 60 days to process.

“I’m pretty confident we can fix it for around $10,000 to $13,000,” he said. “Once we do that, we should be able to retain water in it again.”

The dam itself, according to Marquis, is over a century old. However it wasn’t completely destroyed, and only the top part of the dam sustained serious damage. This, combined with dry weather and a lack of rain, have led to the pond appearing to be nearly empty.

Marquis said he hopes to have the dam rebuilt this summer, and plans on hiring contractors to reinforce the top part of the structure with large, 3- to 5-foot-long rocks.

“We know that it will still let some water through,” he said. “It’s not going to be impermeable, but it’s going to slow the water down and allow the dam level to rise.”

Marquis said he pitched the plan to DEP, and they “thought it was a great idea.”

“Once we get the application in, we should be good to go,” he said.

Marquis hopes to submit the application this week. He wants the dam repaired as soon as possible, and said as soon as he gains DEP approval, he will contact a contractor.

“I know it’s not going to be a two-day job,” he said, adding that the fix is “semi-permanent” and will “definitely hold water.”

While he’s not pleased with the pool’s near-empty state, Marquis is thankful that there’s no smell.

“That’s huge,” he said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a smell in the future either. I’m at least thankful for that.”

He hopes work can begin by mid-August, or sooner if possible.

“I’m hoping we can fix it inexpensively,” he said, “and it should be a very good fix.”