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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > State Dam Inspector Determines “No Breach” of Colcord Pond Dam.

State Dam Inspector Determines “No Breach” of Colcord Pond Dam.


April 7, 2010


AUGUSTA, MAINE -- The State Dam Inspector has filed a preliminary report on the factors contributing to a reported failure at the Colcord Pond Dam in Porter, Maine during last week’s storm. The Inspector visited the Colcord Pond Dam and nearby Bickford Pond Dam on Tuesday March 30, when the problem was first reported.

The Inspector found that Colcord Pond Dam did not breach as initially reported. The dam’s spillway screen and stoplog failed during the flood. The earthen dam, likely more than 100 years old, also overtopped by an indeterminate amount. Downstream road damage was attributable to storm flow unrelated to the dam overtopping. A blocked culvert on the damaged road may have exacerbated the road damage.

There is evidence of previous overtoppings at the Colcord Dam site. While there is no imminent threat to public safety, the Inspector has recommended to the Town of Porter, which owns both the Colcord and Bickford Pond Dams, that they consult an engineering firm to determine necessary steps to improve dam safety at both sites.

The Inspector has also recommended that both dams be designated as “significant hazard” dams. This does not reflect on their condition, but rather on that fact that a catastrophic dam failure would likely result in washing out Route 25 in Porter. Reclassification will require development of an Emergency Action Plan for the dams. Currently, both are rated as “low hazard” dams, which do not require a formal emergency plan.

The State Dam Inspector is a Licensed Professional Engineer employed by MEMA to carry out its statutory responsibility for dam safety in Maine.



Lynette Miller / Mark Belserene


Last update: 07/20/10