Ashland Area Municipal Authority

Ashland Dam Raising Project

Butler Township, PA

Background: The Ashland Dam Raising Project was located at the Ashland Dam (PADEP No. 54-75) in Butler Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The dam impounds 331 acre-feet of water and is owned and operated by the Ashland Area Municipal Authority (AAMA) for municipal water supply. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) categorizes the dam as a Hazard Category 1 (High), Size Class B-1 structure. The existing spillway did not have sufficient capacity to safely pass the required spillway design flood (SDF) without overtopping the dam’s embankment.

PADEP required action to minimize the risk for dam overtopping and/or failure by increasing storage and spillway capacities, therefore reducing the risk of downstream flooding.

Scope: PADEP required the dam to be rehabilitated. The improvements project included construction of a concrete parapet and earthfill raising the dam six feet which allowed for greater storage capacity and to allow the spillway to safely pass the SDF. Benesch was involved with alternatives analysis, funding acquisition, design and construction completion for this project.

Project highlights

  • Unsafe high hazard dam
  • Increase dam height by 6 feet
  • Install upstream closure and embankment drainage
  • Funding assistance