Schuylkill County Municipal Authority

Pine Run Dam

New Castle Township, Schuylkill County, PA

Background: The Pine Run Dam is owned by the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority (SCMA) and supplies water to several communities in southern Schuylkill County, including the City of Pottsville. In addition, this reservoir is a source to the Broad Mountain Water Treatment Plant. The Army Corps of Engineer’s Phase I Inspection Report for the Pine Run dam indicated that the spillway capacity was inadequate. Additionally, a geotechnical review indicated downstream slope stability and embankment seepage issues needed to be addressed. As a result of these findings, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Division of Dam Safety (DDS) categorized the dam as an “unsafe dam” in accordance with the Pennsylvania dam safety regulations in Chapter 105. Benesch assisted in the development of an Evaluation of Alternatives Report and began the funding search process.

Scope: Benesch was retained by SCMA to design the required improvements identified in the Evaluation of Alternatives Report. This included all design coordination and permitting required to bring the dam in compliance with State and Federal regulations. The existing masonry spillway was replaced with a new concrete labyrinth spillway, downstream embankment was flattened and a drainage monitoring system was installed.

Unique Features: Due to the large service area and need for the water source, all improvements to the reservoir were completed without completely draining the dam. This project was funded using a low interest loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

Project highlights

  • Unsafe high hazard dam
  • New labyrinth spillway
  • Seepage monitoring system
  • Constructed without completly draining