Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

Drawdown FAQs


Q & A for homeowners is below

Further information from a publication about aquatic plant control

What is a drawdown?

A drawdown is when the lake is lowered below its normal winter level by a siphon system over the spillway of the dam (see below). The main benefit of a drawdown is weed control: the exposed lake bottom will compact, desiccate over time, and freeze, thus killing off the weed roots and tubers. A drawdown will also allow homeowners on the lakefront to clean up any trash or debris that may become visible once the lake bottom is exposed, and to make repairs to walls and docks or begin new construction projects.

When will the drawdown begin?

The lake will begin lowering on or about October 15 and is expected to be completed by December 1.

How does it work, and how long will it take for the drawdown to reach its target depth?

The Pond and Lake Connection will install siphons over the dam. Once started, siphoning will continue naturally, enabled by atmospheric pressure and gravity; this process will take a few weeks. We will then monitor the siphoning process to maintain a 3-foot drawdown depth until the lake freezes. In late January and February, as snowmelt, rainfall, and flow from Pumping Station Swamp occur, the lake will then begin to refill.

Where does all the water go?

Water will flow out of the siphon tubes over the spillway on Indian Lane into the existing plunge pool and stream bed which leads into Waccabuc River, just east of where Autumn Ridge Road and Benedict Road cross.

How often will our drawdowns occur?

Lake drawdowns will be a regular part of our annual lake management plan. We will start conservatively this year with a drawdown of 3 feet below normal winter Wier Board removal depth where the water level elevation will be 505.5 feet above mean sea level.

Do I need to haul out my dock?

You can leave your dock or pier in place unless you wish to haul it out to make bottom repairs on the shore. (Remove and winterize your boat as you usually do, but we recommend removal by the time drawdown begins.)

I want to make repairs to my dock or lake wall; when can I do that?

If you are planning a project involving a dock or lake wall, you’ll need to acquire permits, so we recommend making permit applications to the town now. Once a permit is secured, in-lake work can start as soon as the work area is exposed as a result of the drawdown. It is recommended that you plan on finishing work before sub-freezing temperatures take hold, and no later than February which usually brings rain and ice-out.

Can I dig out sediment exposed by the drawdown?

You cannot dig or remove any lake bed sediment without a permit from the NYS DEC. They can impose significant fines for any work done in the lake bottom without a permit. More information is available on the DEC website –