January 2014

Town of Canton, MA awarded $1M in State funds for repairs to Shepard Pond Dam

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs awarded the Town of Canton $1M in grants and loans from the Dam and Seawall Repair and Removal Fund, created in 2013 to address public safety issues caused by aging infrastructure. Canton received the maximum award amount allowed in the program and received the largest grant awarded for any dam in this round of funding. Stephens Associates Consulting Engineers, LLC (SA) prepared the Town's funding application for repairs to Shepard Pond Dam to address hydraulic and structural deficiencies, improve public safety, and meet regulatory requirements. The Town has a long-established relationship with SA, the Project’s dam engineer and designer, to serve the Town’s dam engineering needs. SA is a certified DBE/WBE small business by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has inspected, evaluated and/or designed repairs for virtually all the Town’s dams.

Shepard Pond Dam is a significant hazard dam in poor condition and frequently overtops in minor floods as frequent as the 2-year flood, inundating Washington Street and downstream residences. The Dam was originally constructed circa 1880 for mill power, but now retains a pond for recreation and wetland preservation. The Project will repair and upgrade the Dam from an ancient mill-type dam to a modern engineered structure, significantly improving public safety and enhancing resilience to climate change. Major goals of the repairs/upgrades include addressing internal erosion and voids and providing sufficient hydraulic capacity to pass the 100-year flood with one foot of freeboard, as well as addressing deficiencies, meeting regulatory requirements, and improving ecology, such as removal of invasive plant species. SA designed a new innovative labyrinth weir spillway to dramatically increase the Dam’s discharge capacity to pass the 100-year flood while maintaining similar pond levels in normal conditions and floods. These improvements will mitigate embankment overtopping and the resulting flooding of Washington Street and downstream houses as well as significantly reducing risks of dam breach, increasing public safety and protection of public infrastructure.