The old Fogelsville Dam in Upper Macungie Twp., Lehigh Co., needs a safety upgrade, state officials said.
It might not be an easy or a cheap fix, however. The cost to fix the dam could range from $10,000 to $2 million, but according to township officials, the work has to be done.
"It's my understanding, a resident called DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] and asked what would happen if that dam would breach," said Kathy Rader,Upper Macungie Township supervisor.
The dam was built in 1914. The walking bridge is no longer there, and now the DEP has placed it on the high hazard list.
"There are concerns about the age and what could possibly happen," Rader said.
If it does crumble, the water could flood the slide. Upper Macungie Township engineers have an emergency plan in place, and they don't anticipate any type of disaster. Officials are working with the DEP to fix the problem, as well.
"Our hope is to put the stream channel back to were it was," said Rader. De-water some of the areas where there is silt and hopefully it will re-vegetate.
It will cost money to do that, with a price tag between $10,000 and $2 million. For now, the township will try the more economical option.
"Take the dam down a couple and cutting it over towards the base of the hill to put the stream back where it belongs," said Rader.
The DEP has signed off on the plan and has given the township a grant to help, but that is just a drop in the bucket, and more money is needed.
"Some will have to come out of township funds," said Rader. "We are actively pursuing grants to get financial help for this project."
Township officials are unsure when the project will start or how long it will take to do the work.