The Department of Public Works maintains four reservoir dams as part of our drinking water system infrastructure. They include the Atkins Reservoir Dam in Shutesbury, and the Hill, Hawley, and Intake Reservoir Dams in Pelham. Maintenance of dams in Massachusetts is regulated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Office of Dam Safety. DCR has categorized Atkins Reservoir Dam as High Hazard Potential, Hill and Hawley Reservoir Dams as Significant Hazard Potential, and Intake Reservoir Dam as Low Hazard Potential based on potential damage resulting from failure. Note that this classification does not take into account condition of the dam or how well it is managed. As presented below, Amherst has the dams inspected and maintained regularly.
All dams are required to be inspected, and the frequency of inspection depends on their hazard category. Dams are inspected by a Professional Engineer, and evaluate the condition of the dam and appurtenant structures, as well as providing information to assist the Town is prioritizing maintenance and repairs. Below are the most recent Phase I Dam inspection reports for all four dams.
DCR Office of Dam Safety requires dam owners of High and Significant Hazard dams to prepare and update Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for those dams. The purpose of the EAP is to identify emergency situations and lay out the procedures for responding to them including public notification. Below are the EAPs for Atkins, Hawley, and Hill Reservoir Dams. Intake Reservoir Dam is categorized as Low Hazard Potential, therefore, does not require an EAP.