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BRPC Weighs In On Pittsfield's Reservoir Repair Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:20PM / Thursday, January 03, 2013
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BRPC's Executive Committee approved the comments Wednesday made by the Clearinghouse Committee about the project.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is concerned about ongoing maintenance of the Cleveland Reservoir infrastructure in Hinsdale.

The reservoir off Old Windsor Road is owned and operated by the city as a public water source.

The diversion pipes at Cady and Windsor brooks, which feed into the reservoir, are scheduled for renovations but will require up to a decade of constant monitoring.

The plan is to dredge sediment that accumulated at and upstream of two diversion conduits as well as to stabilize the eroded stream bank on the south side of the main diversion pipe and make minor repairs to the diversion dams.

The plan calls for a system in which there will be periodic dredging of the stream channels every five to 10 years and BRPC wants to make sure there is clarity regarding when and how often dredging happens. BRPC filed a report asking the city and state agencies to set benchmark conditions and continue to monitor and document the streams' change.

Additionally, BRPC hopes that the smaller streams and tributaries are be restored to proper flow levels.

"There is very little water going downstream after the spillway," BRPC Regional Issues Committee Chairman James Mullen said of a site visit.

The stream channels were built in 1948 and at the time, the engineers did not put much focus on those smaller waterways, said BRPC Executive Director Nathaniel Karns.

"They [the diversions] have been in place for decades," Karns said. "At the time they didn't care if they diverted all of the streams."

The project is expected to begin in May and be completed by September. The dredging is expected to be about 1,500 yards, including 280 feet of Windsor Brook and 640 cubic yards of Cady Brook. Approximately 28,000 square feet of land underwater will be affected by the dredging.

In the end, the project will get rid of the large deposits of sediment that is limiting storage capacity and not allowing the water to pond. With more ponding, the water quality will be improved.

Cady Brook and Windsor Brook provide 90 percent of the reservoir's water.

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