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HOME PAGE: News - July 22, 2014




Smuggs Act 250 Permit to
Make Snow with Lamoille Water


     by Mickey Smith
 
     An Act 250 permit was issued May 23 this spring, allowing Smugglers' Notch Ski Resort to use a 12 inch pipe to take water from the Lamoille River in Cambridge Junction and pump it up the mountain to the resort's existing reservoir in order to expand their snowmaking abilities.
     The project is described as Phase II of Smugglers’ snowmaking plans.  Phase I included the construction of a 20 million gallon reservoir on Edwards Road and pipeline to get from there to the resort’s infrastructure. Water for phase I was drawn from No Name Brook and Madonna/Sterling Brooks. Phase I allowed Smugglers' Notch to make snow on 50% (about 157 acres) of the ski trail acreage. The new proposal will increase snowmaking capabilities to about 80% (204 acres). A Phase III is mentioned, which would increase snowmaking to 289 acres, but no schedule for this has been proposed.
     Mark Delaney, of Smugglers' Notch, said construction has already commenced. He said with the help of the Morristown-based Contractors Crane Service, they were able to get the intake pipe installed in June. The pump house is currently being built along the Lamoille River near Nolan Road. From there, the pipeline will follow Nolan Road, crossing Route 15, to Junction Hill Road. The pipe will be bored under Route 15, so as not to disrupt the road. It will follow along Reynolds Road to Edwards Road. Delaney said the work would go from bottom to top – river to mountain, and GW Tatro has been contracted to install the pipe. He estimated it would be about a two-year project. The Act 250 Findings of Fact states they are planning to be done by October 1, 2015.
     “The pipeline will be located almost entirely within the right-of-way of Cambridge Town roads either within the roadway or along the road shoulder area,” states the Act 250 permit's “Findings of Fact.”
     For the most part the pipe will be made from a high-density polyethylene, although from the river to the top of the first steep hill it will be an epoxy-coated steel pipe.
     “The intake pipe will be in the deepest part of the river, which is approximately 6' deep at base flow,” states the Findings of Fact.
     The intake pipe is about 2.2 feet above the channel bottom of the river and will have 51” long intake screen that will be pointed on the upriver end. This will help to deflect debris.
     Water is allowed to be withdrawn from October 1 to March 31. Delaney said officially the water drawn will be used to fill the reservoir, but because the time when water would be used for snowmaking falls during this time period it will serve more as an on-demand intake.
     By taking water from the Lamoille, they are able to reduce the amount taken from the neighboring tributaries they have been using. The permit requires the Lamoille River withdrawal to become the new primary source for water consumption, followed by Madonna/Sterling and then No Name Brook.
     Delaney said changing state guidelines are prompting increased conservation of water from the tributaries.
     The new pipeline will take about 1,100 gallons of water per minute out of the Lamoille River.  An amount ruled by Act 250 to be de minimis. Meaning the amount would be too small to affect the flow of the river. Delaney said they will be required to keep track of the amount and times of water taken from the river, but no monitoring of the river levels are required.
     The pipeline/pumphouse project is expected to cost about $3,000,000 with another $2,000,000 in upgrades planned for the snowmaking system on the slopes, in order to expand the acreage covered. Delaney said that work would be done in the next few years, but there is no reason to start it until the pipeline (with the new source of water) is in place.



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Showing posts 1 - 5 of 1681. View more »

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