Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

October 25, 2021
by rob
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Weir Board Removal for Winter 2021-22

Announced to the TLPOA email list yesterday. Since this affects all lakefront property owners, we are announcing it here as well:

“To prevent flooding from this week’s impending storms, we are removing the weir board from the dam tomorrow, October 25th.

Over the coming days, the lake will reach its winter level, where it will stay until spring.”

There will be no siphon drawdown for this winter. The Truesdale Lake Management Committee in conjunction with our lake management company, Pond & Lake Connection, believes the drawdown program achieves best results when it is used in alternate years.

The Truesdale Lake Dam spillway shown from underneath the road. The weir board is in place in this photo and will be removed Oct 25, 2021. This will lower the lake level to the height of the spillway. The weir board is 14″ tall so the lake level will lower approximately 14″ from the summer height. This height will vary constantly based on rainfall, outflow, and evaporation.
Update: Later in the day Oct 25 – weir board has been removed and water flows rapidly over the spillway.

September 28, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Hurricane Ida Post-Storm Report

Hurricane Ida Post-Storm Report

Ida was the second major hurricane of 2021 that affected the NY Metro area and dumped a lot of rain in South Salem. It was the second hurricane in a 10 day span. This report was compiled by lake resident Scot Evans.

A great deal of moisture and energy was fed into Hurricane IDA before it struck Grand Isle, LA. It maintained its Category 4 status well after heading inland past New Orleans.

CAT 4 Hurricane IDA 2021

By the time it hit us, it had been downgraded to a “depression” and “remnant” only because of its organization and sustained wind intensity.

CAT 4 Hurricane IDA from space 2021

But, it still had plenty of low pressure circulation to suck in moisture from the Atlantic. Here are brief descriptions of the tropical divisions:

  • Remnant Low: a class of post-tropical cyclone that no longer possesses the convective organization required of a tropical cyclone and has maximum sustained winds of less than 34 knots.
  • Tropical Depression: a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 33 knots or less.
  • Tropical Storm: a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds ranging from 34 to 63 knots.
  • Hurricane: a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 64 knots (74 MPH) or greater.

Five inches of rain was dumped over Truesdale Lake in a mere eight-hour period. We received a total of 5.55 inches from this storm.

IDA 1 SEP 2021

Central Park in Manhattan reports rainfall every hour and another rainfall rate record was shattered the week after a record was set with HENRI. During IDA, 3.14 inches fell in one hour from 8:51 to 9:51 pm.

The inflow from our vast watershed caused some wild white water rapids in Boway Stream. The white water rapids over the dam’s spillway was spectacular. The water under the white caps was brown with soil erosion.

IDA 1 SEP 2021
IDA 1 SEP 2021

The lake quickly rose to 21″ over the summer weir board in the primary spillway causing 3″ of water to flow over the secondary spillway of the dam.

IDA 1 SEP 2021

Lakewalls and lawns were submerged.

IDA 1 SEP 2021

There was likely some basement flooding in the homes around the lake as well.

IDA 1 SEP 2021

Ant Island became submerged and the wind blew down three large trees at the north end as the island’s north peninsula simply folded up.

This exposed the root system of these three trees.

For the artists out there, the exposed roots would make for an intricate and fascinating painting.

The trees did not break, so they will continue to grow and survive in their new horizontal mode.

The impoundment water pressure pressing on the south embankment of the dam was massive, but our 100 year-old structure continued to hold its integrity. The prime question remains: How long will our dam hold without receiving the overdue repairs and the reconstruction it needs?

These videos show the impressive volume and force of white and brown water flowing through our spillway training walls into the Waccabuc River inlet.

September 2, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Earmark request for the Truesdale Lake Dam and Bridge

Earmark request for the Truesdale Lake Dam and Bridge

This letter was sent August 26, 2021 from Scot Evans (lake resident) to U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney’s office.

FROM: SCOT EVANS, TRUESDALE LAKE DAM REPAIR & RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

TO: ERNEST KLEPEIS, DISTRICT DIRECTOR
OFFICE OF U.S. REPRESENTATIVE SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (NY-18)
123 GRAND STREET, 2ND FLOOR | NEWBURGH, NY 12550

Dear Mr. Klepeis,

Thank you and Representative Maloney for taking my August 25th call to discuss our critical project in the Town of Lewisboro. We request that the Truesdale Lake 100-year-old dam, north and south embankments, bridge, spillway, control tower, sluice gate and low water outlet be earmarked as a priority for repair and reconstruction and that we be placed in the queue for infrastructure funding when applicable or available.

Truesdale Lake (https://truesdalelake.com/about/) is 82.3 acres in area, one mile long and 3/8 mile across at its widest point and contains about 100 million gallons of water during its summer level. The watershed, mostly east of the lake from Ridgefield’s West Mountain down to Pumping Station Swamp, is huge. The watershed to lake ratio is 28.7 to 1. The average annual rainfall that drains into the lake is 1.6 billion gallons or 4 million gallons per day. The lake turns over (hydraulic residence time) 16.2 times per year or once every 22 days. The water traveling over the spillway (small blue spike below at the “beak”) enters the Waccabuc River and flows into the Cross River Reservoir. The dam is the flat horn on the far left side of both bathymetry shots below:

Truesdale Lake Map, bathymetry contour
Truesdale Lake Map, contour by ELS NOV 2017 with 3 ft drawdown exposure.PNG

The dam, built c. 1920, is in bad shape. NYS DEC regulates and inspects our dam. The last DEC inspection occurred twelve years ago on 6/18/2009 and is attached. The training walls around the primary spillway are cratered and undermined from years of flowing water erosion. The embankments, rip rap and geotextile fabric have deteriorated. The south embankment is heavily eroded and no longer has a smooth angle down to the river. The low water outlet is blocked. The 14-foot control tower is flooded and the submerged sluice gate and hand wheel are inoperable.

Control Towers for all dams must remain sealed and dry. This photo shows the flooded control tower with the submerged sluice gate control wheel 14 feet down the tower shaft:

control wheel – large.jpg

The shot below shows the partially submerged tower chamber when I entered it with a compressed air tank to insure I had breathable air down there. The water level in the flooded tower and chamber matches the lake’s water level, and this shot was taken in the winter when we drew the lake down to three feet below the spillway deck (to compact the lakebed and expose the weed tubers to subfreezing temperatures).

lower vault – large (2).jpg

These diagrams show the 250-foot-long dam, road, bridge, primary and secondary spillways and some of the color-coded remediations recommended to repair structures and reinforce the embankments:

Dam – deficiencies.jpg
Dam – embankment rehab.PNG

This photo shows the siphons we installed since we cannot open the low water outlet to protect the dam before severe rainfall events or to draw the lake down in the winter.

Siphons med format (2).jpg

The shot above shows the intake sections of two 12″ and one 6″ diameter siphons with the road and bridge over them.

The shot below shows the discharge sections of these siphons into the river at the base of the spillway under the bridge.

Siphons 800 kb (1).JPG

This photo below shows the top of the control tower and the eroded irregular south embankment section after cutting down invasive vegetation, bushes and trees. Roots and water have infiltrated the embankments.

Dam shaved 21 MAY 2021 (3).jpg

This photo shows the access hatch at the top of the control tower, looking down the flooded shaft, with my reflection in the water below:

Valve Box – large.jpg

The homes downstream from the dam will take the following route to the Cross River Reservoir in the event they are carried away by 100 million gallons of water should the dam suffer a failure:

Truesdale Lake to Cross River Reservoir route.jpg

There are two primary associations that maintain this lake. The Truesdale Lake Property Owners Association (TLPOA) owns the dam and controls the northern half of the lake where homes are on a community well. The Truesdale Estates Association (TEA) owns the lakebed and islands and controls the southern half of the lake where homes operate their own individual wells. The Lewisboro Police Department and the South Salem Fire District are very interested in staying up to date with the structural integrity of the dam. And finally, the Lewisboro Highway Department maintains the road and guard rails over the bridge and dam. If the dam suffers a breach, these last three entities will need to be involved.

The following people are copied with this request:

Nicholas Fiegoli, TLPOA President
Robert Cummings, TEA President
Allison Settineri, TLPOA Vice President
Howard Citron, TEA Vice President
John Gusmano, Chairman, Lake Management Committee
David Alfano, Chief, Lewisboro Police Department
Michael Lombardi, Fire Commissioner, South Salem Fire District
Peter Ripperger, Superintendent, Lewisboro Highway Department

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Scot Evans

August 29, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Sunfish Near End-of-Summer Report

Sunfish Near End-of-Summer Report

Sunfish Fleet #27 is going strong on Lake Truesdale. We have six active sailors in our 2021 fleet. This is down a bit from our banner year in 2020 when we saw a covid-surge in sailing and many other activities on the lake.

Results for the current season can be found here.

Jonathan leads the 2021 series so far. Skip is hot on his heels. Rob and Ira are battling for the bronze medal. Paul and Kevin have to notch a few more races to challenge for any hardware in 2021.

Due to some windless Sundays, vacations, and Hurricane Henri, we have only 11 of the expected 18 races completed. Our sailors today voted to extend the season through September Sundays to get some more races in for the season. The Presidents Cup will be moved to Columbus Day weekend in October

If you are a Lake Truesdale resident and want to come out and race but are worried you are too much of a beginner — or not keen on sailing in boat traffic — we’ve got you covered. Beginners get a 2 minute head start and lots of friendly coaching during the race, especially if the wind is light or moderate. In addition, our regular sailors are always willing to come out on a Saturday or before the races on Sunday to give some lessons in sailing and racing. If you don’t have a boat we have boats to lend so you can get a feel for the wind.

Let us know your interest – email lake@truesdalelake.com – and we will get in touch.

August 29, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Hurricane Henri Post-Storm Report

Hurricane Henri Post-Storm Report

by Scot Evans

Truesdale Lake received a total rainfall of 2.91″ and Twin Lakes received 3.12″ during the 35 hours of precipitation from Tropical Depression HENRI. Offshore, it was a CAT 1 Hurricane, downgraded to a Tropical Storm as it entered the pass between Montauk and Block Island and downgraded again to a Tropical Depression during its westward progress to Newburgh.

The radar image below shows the reason that NJ and NYC received so much rain and flooding. This leading west band dumped huge amounts of rain on them and never affected us.

With the three inches of rain we received, the lake rose rapidly and at its peak, was flowing 7″ over the new custom-made one piece weir board between the training walls of the primary spillway under the bridge. (The lake was 15″ below the level when it would start to flow over the secondary spillway, which is the lowest part of the road where the boatyard meets the water.)

Here was the lake level after Hurricane FLOYD hit New York in SEP 1999.

The water level was about 8″ above the top of the lake wall and was flowing over the secondary spillway.
(If you have photos of water flowing over the secondary spillway, please send them for our archive.)

For comparison, here is the same view of the lake level after Tropical Depression HENRI departed – heading east to Cape Cod.

The lake level was 11″ below the top of the lake wall at its peak inflow at about 8am this morning:

Note that FLOYD was a CAT 4 Hurricane, just 2 MPH short of becoming the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale.


Here it was at its peak intensity near the Turks & Caicos Islands.

SEP 1999 FLOYD

Here are 2 of my 3 precip reports (1st day had just .01″ since storm had just arrived before I took the reading):

Here’s the rainfall comparison with the Three Lakes Region:

8/22-24 combined

And finally, I opened up the Control Tower lid and confirmed that the lake level matched the water level inside the flooded shaft above the low level outlet sluice gate. I pulled some mugwart and closed the lid hoping to repair and rebuild our dam with the $10 million grant we’ll receive one day.

August 3, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Spring 2021 TLPOA Newsletter

Spring 2021 TLPOA Newsletter

Screen shot from page 1 of the Spring 2021 TLPOA newsletter

The TLPOA Spring 2021 newsletter is available to download here.

The topics included in this newsletter include:

  • Amended Bylaws
  • Water Corporation Update
  • e-Mail Billing
  • Branch & Twig Pick-up
  • Our Beach Opens!
  • Sandcastle Competition
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Family Movie Night
  • End of School Summer Party
  • July 4th Bike Parade
  • BYO at Sundown at the Beach
  • Social Club Stroll
  • Water Quality Report
  • Fishing Tags Issued
  • New and Returning Residents
  • Lake Management
  • Winter Drawdown Results
  • Front Entrance Improvement
  • Tips on Trees and Lawn Care
  • Tackling Our Resident Geese
  • Boat Auction – TBD
  • Truesdale Lake History Corner

TLPOA President’s Message

Words cannot describe how happy I am that spring is finally here (sort of) and things are somewhat getting back to normal. Hope this newsletter finds everyone happy and healthy and looking forward to a great season on the lake!

Wanted to take my space in the newsletter to catch everyone up on some items and what we have planned for the spring and summer.

First a quick recap of the Association Special Meeting held on March 25th via Zoom. 46 homes attended the meeting which might be an all-time high, and that is great. But that also means 106 homes did not attend. We would love to have as many owners as possible attend so everyone is involved in decisions made on their behalf and can have some input on items presented during the meetings.

Items presented and voted on were:

  • Amendments to the Bylaws which were presented and approved 46 to 0
  • Water Corporation update and the new 5-year step increase was approved 46 to 0
  • Association update and long- range projects and $55 increase to annual dues approved 44 to 2
  • Sale of part of paper road was tabled until June Association Meeting when full legal agreement can be reviewed
  • Approval to put up for sale 3 unused properties to raise capital for future Dam repair and maintenance was passed 42 to 3

We believe that the new electronic billing system that was utilized for the January Water Corporation meter reading and February water bill was a huge success and we received significant positive feedback on the ease of use and communications. Here are some couple of data points we thought would be interesting to know:

know of 147 homes on the water system:

  • 125 got their meter reading in on time
  • 18 took a little prompting to get them to get it in
  • 4 are still outstanding due to not being physically at their home
  • 12 requested paper bills when bills went out
  • 130 homes paid their bill online or sent in a check by the Due Date
  • 15 homes paid their bill after some extra communication and prompting from us
  • 2 are multiple years in arrears and slated to have their water shut off this month

While we are happy with how it went, we ask that everyone be mindful of your community volunteers time and energy and get in your meter readings and payments on time.

In this newsletter you will see what we have planned for the Spring and Summer 2021! Our volunteers have put together a great many events and projects so be on the lookout for emails and notices.

The TLPOA Board and I really hope folks will come out and enjoy what our great neighborhood has to offer!

Nick Fiegoli


Check the PDF version for the complete newsletter.

July 27, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Lake Rights vs. Lake Access

Lake Rights vs. Lake Access

Recently there has been news of two vacant properties for sale by the town that carry lake rights to Truesdale Lake.

Here is the statement read to the Lewisboro Town Board during public comment period on July 26, 2021:

“Tonight I am speaking about Lake Rights vs. Lake Access. Specifically lake rights to Truesdale Lake through the Truesdale Estates Association, Inc. owned properties.

Our association (TEA, Inc.) is a homeowner association corporation owning the TEA beach, the TEA boat launch, and the entire 83 acre lake bottom.

The TEA, Inc. can only invite property owners from the original TEA, Inc. subdivision to become members. (See map on the Truesdale lake website.)

A few weeks ago the Town Board voted to sell two properties it owns. These two parcels are in the original subdivision of TEA, Inc. and new owners of these properties are eligible to be invited to become members in the TEA, Inc.

Some important points:

  1. Lake Rights are not the same thing as Lake Access.
  2. TEA, Inc. lake access is only for TEA members in good standing.
  3. In order to become a member and maintain membership in good standing, a new owner must:
    • Be invited by the TEA Inc. Board
    • Pay membership initiation fee plus assessed dues
    • Continue to pay annual dues payments
  4. Failure to pay annual dues results in 1.) membership suspension, then 2.) membership expulsion if dues are not paid.
  5. Any member who is expelled cannot rejoin.
  6. One household per property is the limit on membership. The TEA will not extend a membership invitation to a property owner seeking to extend their property to more than one household via a sub-association, partnership, LLC, non-profit organization, government entity, corporate ownership, or any other means.

If you are looking for more information, please send us an email at tea@truesdalelake.com with specific questions.

Thank you.”

EDIT: someone asked why I posted this. With all of the “Lake Rights property for sale” talk I wanted to balance it out with the reality about Lake Responsibilities. If someone wants to join our community in this way, we’d prefer they know about the financial responsibilities that come with our membership and lake stewardship. Buying a vacant parcel that has lake rights is not a free ride into our lake community. It is an introduction. We welcome and wish any purchaser the best, but the TEA is made up of members committed to the lake and its health and we expect any new members to take the responsibility seriously.

July 20, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Reminder: Full Moon Regatta This Friday 7/23 – Get your boats ready!

Reminder: Full Moon Regatta This Friday 7/23 – Get your boats ready!

We will meet in the middle of the lake starting around 8:00pm friday night 7/23. See prior post for more details.

The TEA will be holding a “moonrise BBQ” at the Truesdale Lake Drive beach starting at 5:30 p.m. and going until around 8 p.m.

Lake association residents are invited to join in – come over via boat if you can and have a burger, hot dog, chicken, or veggie burger as we count down to the full moonrise at 8:32pm. Stop by for an a few hours or a few minutes! Just don’t miss the moonlight regatta.

Contact us if you have questions.

July 20, 2021
by rob
Comments Off on Algae Treatment set for July 22

Algae Treatment set for July 22

Pond & Lake Connection fanboat on Lake Truesdale.

Pond and Lake Connection will be treating the lake Thursday July 22nd.

With this algae treatment there are no restrictions on swimming or irrigation.

This treatment is part of the Truesdale Lake Management Plan.