Rice Township Supervisors entertained lengthy discussion on the Upper Ice Lakes drainage problem at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday September 1, 2015.
Chairman Marcia Thomas related that DEP, the regulating agency for damns in the state of Pennsylvania had been notified on August 12 as soon as the problem of the shrinking lake was observed. Pipech estimates that the Upper Ice Lakes had drained about 4 feet of water. The floating dock at the Nuangola Road ingress to the lake has settled on the lake bottom. The township owns the lake bottom and also has a 15-foot maintenance agreement around the lake.
“DEP says it is a long process. It will not happen overnight. There are strict requirements. We cannot block the discharge pipe. The dam is not leaking. There is a 13” discharge pipe halfway down from the top of the dam to the lakebed. The pipe has not been inspected. We are waiting on DEP. We cannot ruin the integrity of the dam. Until DEP gives permission, nothing can be done. There is no water flowing into the upper damn. The creeks are dry,” explained Roadmaster Bob Pipech.
Township Engineer Andy Pasonick reiterated that DEP must issue permits on dams needing repairs. He said he was making calls and was told to contact Roger Adams from DEP.
Ice Lakes Drive resident Marty Wentz asked, “What are we waiting for? What’s being done? Why is DEP not being responsive? It’s up to the township to come up with a plan.”
Ice Lakes landowner Kevin McDonald said the lake adjacent to his property is now dry. “I would like to go in with a wheelbarrow and clean it up. I could drag some stumps out,” he offered.
Thomas said no mechanized machines are allowed in drained lakes, citing the condition of Laurel