Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

December 2, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on 2023 Lake Drawdown Update #2

2023 Lake Drawdown Update #2

Today, December 2nd, the lake level is 15 inches (1.25 feet) below the spillway ramp:

2 NOV: The siphons were installed and started on schedule, but problems were quickly evident when they all shut down – remaining dormant for two weeks while repairs could take place.

13 NOV: The west 12″ siphon was repaired and restarted. It was flowing well. The lake level was 3″ above the spillway ramp.

17 NOV: The center 12″ siphon was lengthened and restarted. The two 12″ siphons were flowing well. The lake level was at the spillway ramp, so drawdown officially began on this date. 

21 NOV: Received 1.41 inches of rain – the first appreciable rain in three dry weeks with only 0.53″ of rain. The lake level was 7″ below the spillway ramp.

26 NOV: Received 1.24 inches of rain. The lake level was 9″ below the spillway ramp.

27 NOV: The east 6″ siphon was repaired and restarted. All three siphons were flowing well. If this siphon shuts down early, it too will need to be lengthened so the discharge elbow rests on the lakebed in order to provide the maximum vertical distance and pressure differential.

30 NOV: All siphons were flowing. The total rainfall for November was 3.20 inches. This is below average. (The 30-year PRISM average for November is 3.90 inches.) 

Rainfall averages during drawdown months:

November 29, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on 2023 Lake Drawdown Update #1

2023 Lake Drawdown Update #1

From Scot Evans:

Lucille Munz took my hand-drawn siphon design and converted it to AutoCAD. The design and the changes made are attached here as a pdf. 

James Gorman made many of these changes without having the new diagram and he has made several field modifications, which are currently working. So, I added “Notes” in paragraphs 4. and 5. in the upper left frame to accommodate the modifications made by James. See Notes wording I used “… at P&LC discretion.”

James extended the horizontal segments and built an ingenious support frame while turning the intake segments downward at 90° and this is working so far. 

He also extended the discharge segment to the center 12” siphon as requested and he may extend the east side 6” siphon if it shuts down early. (Extension down to the river bed increases the vertical elevation differential between the intake port and the discharge base.)

All three siphons are now flowing and the lake level is 10 inches below the spillway ramp.  I’ll send out another drawdown report to the Boards on DEC 1st. 

Thank you Lucille and James for all of these progressive improvements!

[For more information about the lake drawdown, check the Lake Drawdown page]

November 28, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on Caroling at the TLPOA Beach – Dec 16

Caroling at the TLPOA Beach – Dec 16

Holiday Caroling at the beach on Gilbert Street, Saturday Dec. 16 from 5:45-7:30pm

Gather at the Dam/Bridge on Indian Lane and carol down Gilbert Street to a warm fire, hot cocoa, and Santa on the beach!

RSVP to so the organizers have an idea of how many people are coming!

October 30, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on Lake Winter Drawdown 2023-24

Lake Winter Drawdown 2023-24

Hello Neighbors,

As a part of our lake management initiative, we will commence the lake drawdown next week. Over the coming weeks, you can anticipate a gradual decrease in the lake’s water level by approximately 3 to 4 feet. This drawdown serves several essential purposes, with the primary one being the exposure of the lakebed during the winter (frost) season to prevent or control aquatic vegetation growth.

Additionally, this operation provides us with an ideal opportunity to conduct maintenance and restoration work on our beaches, boat launches, and riparian properties.

We extend our gratitude to our dedicated lake management team for their efforts!

More information about past Truesdale Lake Drawdown efforts.

October 26, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on TLPOA Fall 2023 Newsletter

TLPOA Fall 2023 Newsletter

This newsletter is published and sent to the TLPOA membership. Some of the items are TLPOA specific, but many of them are of interest to all lake residents regardless of association.

Here it is:

Note: If you are in the TEA and would like to produce a TEA newsletter, contact the TEA board at to let them know of your interest. There had been a short newsletter in the past for TEA but it needs a new curator!

October 17, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on Halloween Parade – October 28, 2023 at 10am

Halloween Parade – October 28, 2023 at 10am

Meet up at the Lewisboro Library at 10am on Saturday, Oct. 28 for the annual Halloween Parade.

Paraders will walk from the Library to the Gilbert Street Beach where there will be a pumpkin contest and refreshments. Come get dressed up and join the fun! All lake area residents welcome!

October 14, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on Fall 2023 TEA Membership Meeting: Mon, Nov 13

Fall 2023 TEA Membership Meeting: Mon, Nov 13

Fall 2023 Membership Meeting November 13th @ Horse & Hound

The TEA Annual Spring Membership Meeting is planned for Monday, November 13, 2023 at the Horse & Hound at 94 Spring Street. We also plan to have a laptop/camera at the meeting broadcasting over Zoom for TEA members interested in watching remotely.

Meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Note: This meeting is for TEA Members only.

Email to RSVP for in-person. If you want the Zoom Link please ask for it when you RSVP.

If you are new to the TEA or you want to update us on your information, please fill out the TEA Resident Questionnaire. Thanks!

➡ President and other Officer reports
➡ Treasurer:

  • YTD FY2023-2024 Budget vs. Actual review

➡ Beach Report / Lake Committee update

➡ Projects Update: Drawdown / Septics / Sewer
➡ Upcoming meeting schedule for coming year.

The TEA Officer roles are two year terms. At the end of 2024 the terms will end and we need to get ideas on who wants to fill the roles for the next 2 year (2025-2026) term.

WE NEED SOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS! a lot of the same people are taking on the board and officer roles, some for many years. Fresh eyes and fresh energy is needed and valued. If you are new to the community and want to help, there are lots of ways to pitch in.

Current TEA Officers for 2023-24:

President (Jo Ann and George Ferrigno, co-presidents) – organizes & runs meetings, in charge of recruiting next president and officers. Can sign checks.

Vice President (Debbie Fink) – runs meetings when President can’t attend. Fills in other roles as needed. Can sign checks.

Treasurer (Ruth Vellensky) – deposits checks, writes checks, tracks and reports on income/expense and bank balances. Tax filing 990.

Recording Secretary (Howard Citron) – Takes meeting minutes, sends drafts to board and membership attendees post-meeting.

Corresponding Secretary (Rob Cummings) – Receives and replies to association correspondence.

Sergeant-at-Arms (Kate Grieve) – guards the door (or virtual door).

Formal roles for Officers are in the TEA Bylaws here:

At-large Board members (7-10 members needed) attend 4 standing meetings per year. Current board members are: Mike Vellensky, Lisa Capobianco, Glenn Capobianco, Harron Appleman, Melissa Scarlatto, Tom Houlihan, Ira Sanchick, Kathleen Ward Gallagher, Carol Gamez, and Wendy Daniels.

Sarah Polizzotto also on the board and took over as beach co-chairperson with Kate Grieve. Thank you Kate and Sarah!

Standing Association Meetings are on the following UPDATED schedule:
-TEA Membership Meetings (entire membership invited 2x/year):
SECOND Monday of April (April 8, 2024, Spring Membership Meeting)
—SECOND Monday of November (Nov 12, 2023, Fall Membership Meeting, the one coming up)
-TEA Board Meetings (board members only):
—SECOND Monday of March (March 11, 2024)
—SECOND Monday of October (Oct 14, 2024)
Special Meetings can be called for association business.

Critical positions that don’t have to be board members:

Beach Chairperson – Hire and train lifeguards, coordinate beach clean-up, monitor beach conditions, keep an eye on beach things like electricity and trash service. Lots more! A lot of overlap with the Social Chairperson.

Social Chairperson – Plan and get volunteers for any social events – primarily the Summer Kickoff BBQ the second weekend in June. Some events can be at our beach while others we can coordinate with TLPOA. This position is all about fun!

Volunteer Opportunities & Committees:

Beach Clean-up Day – the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend (May) each year. Lots of sand spreading, weed cleanup, general maintenance, and straightening up the beach getting ready for the first official weekend of summer on Memorial Day Weekend.

Floats and Dock installation, management, and winterizing – 2-3 people needed – at the beginning of the season, usually on Beach Clean-up Day, volunteers put out the floats and swim dock. 2-3 people. At the end of the season, this group pulls in the floats and winterizes & secures the swim dock

Lake Management Committee Member – be the TEA liaison to TLPOA Lake Manager John Gusmano and Pond & Lake Connection (James Gorman, main contact). Participate in email communications and bring any concerns to the TEA & TEA Board. More info:

CSLAP Testing Member (1 person needed) – We are looking to rejoin the New York State Federation of Lake Associations “Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program” which uses trained volunteers to sample the water conditions of Truesdale Lake and hundreds of other NY State Lakes. More info is at:

Resident Canada Geese Registration and Egg Control program volunteers (2-3 people needed to go out to the islands in March and April) – Each year we get permits from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to oil and addle eggs in the nests of Resident Canada geese. 20+ years ago there were hundreds of Canada geese that would take up permanent residence on Truesdale Lake for the summer. This causes unhealthy conditions in the lake and on lawns. More information at

Truesdale Lake Dock Committee (TLDC) – We have a joint TEA/TLPOA/Vreeland/Lake Shore Drive committee that accepts applications for new and renovated docks. The TLDC process is designed to help the homeowner comply with our requirements and the Town of Lewisboro’s regulations..

Truesdale Fishing Committee – fishing guidelines and signage around Truesdale Lake. Fishing information here:

Ad-hoc Building Committee – We built two boat racks at the TEA beach. These racks have 2 spots available for TEA members. If you are interested in a spot on the rack, the season rental is $100. If you are interested in helping build an additional boat rack at our TEA Gilbert/Lake Shore boat launch property let us know. Other projects of the Building Committee in 2022 will include the new shed installation including a proposed tiki bar.

Landscaping committee – anyone with ideas to beautify our already lovely beach let us know. We have ornamental grasses along the boat launch fence side. Always looking for additional ideas to make it look good.

In 2024 we are looking to replace or repair the following items at the beach:

  • Boat Launch Dock, bridge, and path
  • Storage Shed / electric

Anything else you can think of? Let us know…

Some helpful links for lake residents new and old:

TEA Map and Other TEA Resources Online
Map available at the website here:

For residents new to the lake, download the TEA Welcome and Information Packet from this link above as well.

*If you are interested in volunteering for the TEA board or a specific activity, please email or fill out this questionnaire.

Contact Information

Truesdale Estates Association
PO Box 363
South Salem, NY 10590

*if you are not current with your TEA dues, you cannot vote until your dues are brought current.

TEA Board Meeting – Notes Fall 2023 – SUMMARY OF ITEMS OF INTEREST

Drawdown 2023-24

Phragmites Treatment Fall 2023

Septic/Sewer Plan – Engineering studies (FUTURE)

  • -County/State/NYC initiative / funding
  • -3 lakes plus Truesdale involved
  • -Rippowam, Oscaleta, Waccabuc, Truesdale
  • -Treatment facility at recycling center
  • -Fully treated outflow into stream that becomes the waccabuc river
  • -See map in linked story for covered locations.
  • -estimated $40 million cost paid by NY state and NYC EOH grants
  • -VERY early stages of plan

Septic Tank Cleaning Program (PRESENT DAY)

  • -Westchester County requires pumping every 5 years (?)
  • -Lake areas recommended every 2-3 years
  • -County has database of clean outs and maintenance – septic providers are required to report these to county when a cleaning or maintenance is done.
  • -Can see who is either not reporting their clean outs or who is not doing clean outs
  • -Publicity signs and mailing for lake area
  • -Special attention to those homeowners without a pump out on record for more than 5 years.
  • -Info to be posted to site soon.

Beach improvements

  • -Step repair – Thanks Mike!!
  • -Dock rebuilding – Corey (who did the step repair) will get us price.
  • -Phragmites cut down. Our landscaper did the south side of beach 4-5 years ago. Need to do for next to plunge pond/Boat Launch area.
  • -Shed replacement
  • -Electric meter move

Dam Study – TLPOA

  • -Cost $11,175
  • -TLPOA is asking us to pay our “regular” share of it (34%) by household count
  • -$3,799.50 our share if we vote to contribute (recommend – present to membership Fall)
  • -Vote at membership meeting.

Helps with eligibility for large construction grants (state, federal, etc.)

October 2, 2023
by rob
Comments Off on Pond & Lake Connection Siphon Upgrade and Truesdale Lake Drawdown 2023-24

Pond & Lake Connection Siphon Upgrade and Truesdale Lake Drawdown 2023-24

The critical drawdown months are NOV & DEC and the target depth needs to be achieved before the ice-in freeze occurs in early December.

The full drawdown period each year is NOV – DEC – JAN – FEB.

Rainfall totals for drawdown critical months NOV – DEC:

8.4 inches – PRISM’s 30-year average rainfall for our area

(PRISM stands for Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model and is the official spatial climate data developed by the NW Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering at Oregon State University in the early 1990s.) 

  • 13.9 inches – winter 2018 – above average/very wet
  •   9.4 inches – winter 2019 – average
  • 11.2 inches – winter 2020 – above average/wet
  •  4.0 inches – winter 2021 – below average/dry
  •  8.2 inches – winter 2022 – averageSiphon requirements:

Siphons must be installed in October and energized no later than November 1st each year that a drawdown is planned. 

When James fabricates the siphons, we found out that the baffles to prevent whirlpools were not effective for that purpose.They can be left out. The three most important modification requirements are:

1.) Lengthen the siphons so that the three discharge elbows at the terminal ends extend all the way down to the river bed. The elbows need to rest on the river bed which first needs to be cleared of any loose stones and boulders. This is essential to ensure that the discharge ends are more than four feet lower in elevation than the intake ends, in order for the siphons to flow all the way to target depth. The river bed supports and stabilizes the massive weight of the longest portion of the water filled siphons.

2.) James will also extend the intake ends to lower them so that the top of the intake pipes are three to four feet below the concrete spillway ramp height. 

3.) Fernco fittings need to be installed along the horizontal segments only. The siphons will separate if the Fernco fittings are installed in the inclined portions and supporting the heavy inclined water column.

Harold Ossher, our resident mathematician who moved to NC in March, was kind enough to revise his siphon and flow spreadsheet to calculate THREE 12′ siphons (increase from 2×12″ siphons plus one 6″ siphon) to be installed by James Gorman of P&LC and use PRISM 30-year average rainfall figures as well as increased rainfall contingencies.

Harold put the spreadsheet into Google, and here is the link:  It contains his plain language conclusion and recommendations in bold print.

Please see his changes along with the seven lines he wrote from line #59 down within the tab A summary of the spreadsheet “Analysis – condensed.” 

Note the nine spreadsheet tabs he created at the bottom if you are curious about the other data and calculation categories.

Remember, if the siphons are installed ON TOP of the weir boards, they must pull out 14 inches of lake water (about 30 million gallons) and rainfall (about 10 million gallons per day of rain) before drawdown officially begins when the lake reaches the concrete spillway ramp. Again, ice-in occurs every year before the second week in December, on average, so it is critical that the drawdown flow is energized before November 1st, through the three 12″ siphons, to reach target depth before the lake freezes – regardless of the rainfall amount or if the weir boards are removed or left in place for siphon support.

2 x 12″ siphons installed in 2022 and prior years

Appendix: Ice and Rainfall history for Truesdale Lake drawdowns

Last year (2022-23 winter), the drawdown started a month too late. Officially, it was six weeks too late because the lake level didn’t reach the spillway’s concrete ramp until December 12th, then the siphons failed because the Fernco fittings were placed in the massively heavy and unsupported inclined intakes.

ICE-IN and ICE-OUT dates:

  •  ICE-IN              ICE-OUT
  • 12/27/2017         2/22/2018
  • 11/21/2018         3/20/2019
  • 12/08/2019         2/18/2020
  • 12/19/2020         3/14/2021
  • 12/21/2021         3/07/2022
  • 12/22/2022         1/04/2023 (one month warm spell)
  • & 2/4/2023          2/11/2023

Rainfall totals for drawdown critical months NOV – DEC:

  • 8.4 inches – PRISM’s 30-year average rainfall for our area
  • 13.9 inches – winter 2018 – above average/very wet
  •   9.4 inches – winter 2019 – average
  • 11.2 inches – winter 2020 – above average/wet
  •  4.0 inches – winter 2021 – below average/dry
  •  8.2 inches – winter 2022 – average

Rainfall totals for drawdown period months NOV – DEC – JAN – FEB:

  • 15.3 inches – PRISM’s 30-year average rainfall for our area
  • 22.7 inches – winter 2018 – above average/very wet
  • 14.7 inches – winter 2019 – average
  • 16.9 inches – winter 2020 – above average/wet
  • 11.3 inches – winter 2021 – below average
  • 14.8 inches – winter 2022 – average