Massachusetts dam facts
The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Office of Dam Safety maintains records of all dams in the state. It ensures compliance with acceptable practices pertaining to dam inspection, maintenance, operation and repair.
∎ According to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, there are approximately 3,000 dams in Massachusetts, many of which are in poor condition.
∎ In Massachusetts 43 dams are used for flood control, 44 provide hydroelectric power and 164 are used for the drinking water supply. The rest are products of the state’s historic mill era and most are aging and in disrepair.
∎ In January, Gov. Deval Patrick signed An Act Further Regulating Dam Safety, Repair and Removal (H4557). into law. This new legislation creates a loan and grant program that will facilitate the repair or removal of unnecessary dams and help finance needed repairs to structures that control coastal flooding.
— FRAN RYAN