YONKERS, NY — January 26, 2021 — Residents have been wondering what happened to the water in Sprain Lake. Repairs to the dam controls were started 18 months ago to make the dam system functional again, in order to meet NYS DEC safety requirements to be able to drain the dam within 14-days. This renovation project would restore the banks of the reservoir, the spillway and spillway channel that feeds into Grassy Sprain Brook; remove the existing non-functioning 48” diameter drain valve below the dam embankment and install a new valve; replace 5 cast iron gates housed in the stone gatehouse in the reservoir; and restore the valve house and gatehouse. The dam and associated structures were built in stages between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s so the aged gates and the valve needed to be custom fabricated – a lengthy process. The valve itself was lowered 30 feet down into the valve chamber and assembled in place. The dam system also prevents excess water from spilling on to Tuckahoe Road. The $1.6m project was funded largely by a grant from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The reservoir supplied drinking water to much of Yonkers before it was decommissioned in the 1970’s. Yonkers now obtains its water from the NYC reservoir system in the Catskills.
Sixth District Councilmember Anthony Merante visited the job site with City Engineer Paul Summerfield to check on the project progress. Councilman Merante stated “It’s welcome news that Sprain Lake is expected to be back and full of water later this year. Its natural beauty will be ready to be enjoyed by everyone from golfers at Sprain Lake Golf course, to fishermen or just travelers on the adjacent parkway enjoying a water view.”