Courtesy: Snyder County Walker Lake
Courtesy: Snyder County

Two high-hazard dam projects in Snyder and Schuylkill counties will receive some of the latest round of federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

A few of Pennsylvania’s high-hazard dams will receive some much needed repairs thanks to millions of dollars in infrastructure funding from the federal government.

Last week, the federal government said it will spend about $420 million for 132 water-related projects in 31 states. That’s in addition to $166 million allocated last month. Pennsylvania will receive $3.85 million for two projects. Funding was made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden last year.

The dam on Walker Lake in Adams Township, Snyder County, will receive $725,000 for the planning phase to rehabilitate the existing structure and to extend its service life as a high hazard dam. The dam was constructed in 1970 and provides flood damage reduction benefits to properties downstream.

The other $3.125 million will go towards planning the repairs to five dams on the Little Schuylkill River in Schuylkill County. Four out of these five dams are in the state’s top 25 dams for Failure Index. The dams were constructed between 1962 and 1968 with 50-year project lives.

Funding for the projects is flowing through two watershed programs run by the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Division of Dam Safety has around 3,380 dams in its database, of which 744 (22%) are considered high hazard, meaning that their failure could cause significant property damage and loss of life.