The Quemahoning Dam

The Quemahoning Dam

The Quemahoning dam is the largest artificial reservoir in Pennsylvania. Its breast stretches for 1,100 feet across the valley two miles above Holsopple, Somerset county. Its capacity when completed (as it soon will be) is reckoned at 11,000,000,000 gallons. Large steam pumps for a long time threw four-inch streams with a pressure of 111 pounds against the earth and clay on the hill and river alongside of the embankment. Their operations have finally ceased, after having carried over 50,000 cubic yards of earth and clay into the dam structure, now 80 feet in height. The waste gates have been closed and the reservoir will now be filled to its utmost capacity—the work of a month. The reservoir covers about 1,000 acres and drains the water from a shed of about 90 square miles, enough to meet the domestic demands of a city of 500,000 inhabitants. The water will supply Johnstown, where it will be brought through steel pipes so riveted together as to form a continuous line of 15 miles in length.

The breast of the dam has a concrete core which extends down to a bed of solid rock and which contains 20,000 cubic yards of concrete. To guard against any such disaster as when the South Fork dam broke, the builders of the Quemahoning dam have placed underneath the embankment a number of pipes with a total discharging area of 500 square feet. By means of these pipes 200,000,000 gallons of water per day can be drawn off. The water backs up through Somerset county for a distance of five miles. When filled the reservoir will completely cover the site of the old historic town of Dibertsville, whence a couple of churches, country stores, many bams and twenty or thirty residences have been removed.

Inasmuch as it is planned in the end to put a million dollars into the work, the Boston Herald thinks a little more general public exploitation of the plans for the installation of the new high pressure fire system in Boston, would not be a bad idea.

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