Indian Run Dam

Schuylkill County Municipal Authority | Branch Township, PA
indian run dam

Indian Run Dam is located on Indian Run in Branch Township, Pennsylvania. The dam impounds a 49.5-acre reservoir used for drinking water by the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority (SCMA). The dam’s original construction was completed in 1926, and a spillway reconstruction was completed in 1935. Indian Run Dam is a homogeneous earthen embankment with a concrete core wall extending from the rock foundation to just below the dam’s crest. The dam is 700 feet long with a maximum height of 94 feet.

The dam had a history of seepage issues, and its spillway capacity was reported as inadequate. The Indian Run Dam was on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) Unsafe High Hazard list. Rehabilitating the dam included replacing the existing concrete spillway with a staged labyrinth spillway, modifying the embankment slope, installing an embankment/foundation drainage system, wetland mitigation, and clearing/grubbing of woody vegetation near the dam. Benesch provided design and construction administration services throughout the completion of this project.

This dam became a priority to SCMA when it was placed on DEP’s Unsafe High Hazard Dams list. The project included the embankment work and a 90-foot-wide labyrinth spillway with a 400-foot-long spillway chute. All were constructed during a year with record rainfalls and a full pool of water in the reservoir.

This project was funded with a grant through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s H2O PA Program and a low-interest Pennsylvania Infrastructure Authority (PENNVEST) loan. The final project cost was approximately $1.3 million under budget. All client needs, established schedules and PADEP requirements were met, and the dam was removed from the Unsafe High Hazard List.


  • 2013, Diamond Honor Award, American Council of Engineering Companies - Pennsylvania