“You wonder how a boat could get in there,” said Meyer. Numerous homes adjacent to the creek are affected by high water. The existing Swatara Creek facilities, which were constructed in 1972, are located on the west side of Swatara Creek … Its headwaters are in the Appalachian Mountains near Minersville Borough in Schuylkill County. Siegrist Dam is a concrete dam, 125 feet high and 600 feet long with a capacity of 1.2 billion gallons that was completed and placed in operation in 1994. Areas of the park are open specific seasons and hours. Aug, 28, 2019 - Swatara Creek. Sections, Gauges & Water Levels Section A (Pine Grove to Rt. 14: Numerous homes adjacent to the creek are affected by high water. LebTown is on hiatus for the holidays. The Swatara Creek and the proposed map of the reservoir and surrounding park. Following a decade of nationwide dam unpopularity, as well as constant pressure from opponents, the idea of a dam appeared to be on its last legs. Instead, in 2012 the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources decided to scrap the lake plan and instead started building trails and other features in the park. What really happened at the “Taste of Sicily trial”? This technique, known as “liming,” is still used to return acidified bodies of water back down to safe levels. Swatara Creek Intake. The last of the land was acquired in 1987, when it was announced that work would begin soon, with the dam expected to be complete by 1989. Major tributaries and their drainage areas east of the Susquehanna River are Swatara Creek (571 square miles) and the Conestoga River (477 square miles). The Swatara Creek is a 72-mile tributary of the Susquehanna River. And dams? In 1828, work began to … Siegrist Dam is a concrete dam, 125 feet high and 600 feet long with a capacity of 1.2 billion gallons that was completed and placed in operation in 1994. The existence of this dam (used for the management of the Union Canal) was brought up in discussions on the new one. The bottom end of the Shooty-Chute, which launched park visitors into the waters of the Swatara. Photo at right: The Swatara Creek Greenway, by Rich Zaino. The 125-foot Siegrist Dam tripled the water capacity of the High Bridge reservoir on the site to 1.2 billion gallons and became the new second surface water source fed into the City of Lebanon Authority’s system after the intake facility already on the Swatara. 8 At the time, Lebanon’s major source of water was the High Bridge Reservoir near Pine Grove, which had a capacity of about 310 million gallons or so. The Swatara Creek is a 72-mile tributary of the Susquehanna River. On closer inspection, Read More: A trek into the wilderness of the Lebanon Reservoir and Jeff’s Swamp. The Swatara Creek flows downward, through the mountains and through Lebanon County and the southern portion of Dauphin County. Besides the historic predecessor, dam proponents pointed to the Swatara’s potential for fishing as another reason to consider the project. Goddard, who had retired from the DER in 1979, urged locals to put pressure on legislators to keep the project moving at a Municipal Building meeting in 1988. Swatara Creek in Pennsylvania. 12: High water affects several homes upstream of the Route 39 bridge. Although the Swatara Creek is generally a slow moving, shallow water with few dangers and suitable for all levels of paddlers, there are some points of concern including two dams (just below Union Deposit and the PA Turnpike). This was a serious blow to the project. Following the Swatara Creek from Pine Grove to main line of the Canal at Water Works was a Feeder Branch. In April of 2000, after four decades of plans, meetings, and studies, the DCNR announced that the plans for the development of the reservoir were halted. Early estimates made by Goddard placed the expected annual number of visitors to the completed park at around 1 million, a number that could have been made possible thanks to the proximity of Interstate 81. An ice dam along the Little Swatara Creek provided ice for Rehrersburg and employment for about 10 men during the winter months between 1880 and 1920. Historic accounts of the creek’s natural populations were cited in early meetings as proof of the possibilities. Topics and series. Swatara State Park is a 3,515-acre (1,422 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Bethel, Swatara and Union Townships, Lebanon and Pine Grove Township, Schuylkill Counties in Pennsylvania in the United States. 10: A few homes adjacent to the creek upstream of the Route 39 bridge flood. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. It rises in the Appalachian Mountains in central Schuylkill County and passes through northwest Lebanon County before draining into the Susquehanna at Middletown in Dauphin County. Still, the project seem to always be perpetually two or three years behind schedule. Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears into tree line in high water. It’s one of the major bodies of water in Lebanon County, and since 2012, eight miles of its length have been contained within the large 3,520-acre Swatara State Park. Susquehanna River (Red Hill Dam) Near the Dock Street dam in Harrisburg, the PFBC access areas at Fort Hunter, Millersburg and in Halifax. “You wonder how a boat could get in there,” said Meyer. While generally favored by officials at both the local and state levels, the dam was an unpopular prospect for families who would be forced to vacate their homes to make way for the reservoir and park, as well as citizens who doubted the state’s capacity to take care of the creek’s acid problem. “But the Swatty had been dammed right below [Kline’s] property. All Rights Reserved. The nearest weather station for both precipitation and temperature measurements is HARRISBURG CAPITAL CITY which is approximately 7 miles away and has an elevation of 340 feet (64 feet higher than Swatara Creek). Hershey dam portage is also on the left. This included the acquisition and subsequent destruction of residences and farm operations within the project’s borders. Two dams are on the Swatara Creek, a low-head dam owned by the Lebanon Water Authority, and one dam owned by PA American Water Company to provide clean water for residents of the Swatara Watershed. Swatara State Park was originally slated to become a large lake by creating a dam on the Swatara Creek in 1987. Now it was time for the next phase of the project to begin: land acquisition. The scenic Swatara Creek meanders the length of the park and is surrounded by forests and wetlands that support a … The acquisition of the remaining land was now believed to be the last objective standing in the way of construction. There are two dams that are hindrances with terrible portages so I broke the creek into three sections. The Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Inc. was founded in 1970 in response to encouragement from the Chamber of Commerce and State and federal agencies to promote conservation of the Swatara Creek Watershed. Controversy surrounding the plan only grew over time as setbacks and delays stalled the project and costs began to add up. ... To extend the trip even further you can start at the park in Union Deposit, but there is a dam in Hummelstown that will need portaged, and if you start even further upstream from that park, a very dangerous dam is an absolute must portage, lethal hydraulic at … Keiser reported that three of the plan’s biggest obstacles had been “largely eliminated,” according to state officials. Both dams must be portaged and can be … But one of the biggest problem facing the project was in direct conflict with its future as a water supply: pollution. For months, the Swatara Dam and state park hung in limbo. as well as camping from the Swatara Watershed Association, which organizes an overnight Swatara Creek Sojourn trip each May (www.swatarawatershed.com). If the reservoir became a reality through the use of state funding, the City of Lebanon would be billed for any water taken from it. This was also a problem at the High Bridge Reservoir as well, a fact that was cited early on as a reason to pursue the project (the reasoning being that water from the area was already being managed and used in the system). In comparison, the proposed dam would have measured 40 feet high and 500 feet wide with a 750-acre impoundment behind it, flooding nearly seven miles of land from Green Point out to Suedberg in Schuylkill County. The Swatara Feeder, as it was called, ran from the Water Works Dam north along the Swatara Creek to Finnegans Dam about 2.4 miles north of Jonestown. CCA secretary Richard Henry stated that there was no permanent solution for treating the Swatara’s acid problem and described the plan as “economically unsound.”. Blotter: Accidents, scattering rubbish, theft, At the turn of the century, Valley Glen Park was the place to see and be seen, A look back at some of the worst snowstorms in county history, [Photo Story] Your photos of this week’s snow in Lebanon County, Police share details on weekend crash that killed Lebanon motorcyclist, The latest food safety violations in Lebanon County, Two Annville couples open axe-throwing venue in Hershey, Police ID city murder victim; suspect named, is still at large, What’s in a name? Secretary Goddard had claimed in 1963 that the Swatara dam project would meet all the requirements for the then-unpassed law, and Project 70 was seen as the answer to the question of funding throughout the rest of the 1960s. In addition, the Christian E Seigrist Reservoir is located in Schuylkill County, and the Dehart Dam in Dauphin County. In June of 1963, the system drew over 100 million gallons from the High Bridge Reservoir and over 76 million from its second source, a small intake facility already on the Swatara near Jonestown. Try our daily headlines email. Swatara Creek River Water Trail - Trail Map - Trail Guide (text)-- Water Trails Index. The dam was never rebuilt because the railroad soon went into operation on the opposite bank of the Swatara Creek. It’s this period of land acquisition that still stings for many of the residents displaced and affected by the project. The dam was by then scheduled to be finished by 1991. Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or too low. Dams on the Swatara weren’t unheard of at the time of the proposal. During 1828, … Both dams must be portaged and can be … Swatara Creek Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots. In August of 1969, Dr. Maurice Goddard, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Forest and Waters and one of the project’s staunchest supporters, unveiled a map of the proposed reservoir and state park to a crowd of 500 officials and citizens at Northern Lebanon High School. 17.0 in. The 3,520-acre Swatara State Park consists of rolling fields and woodlands situated in the Swatara Valley, between Second and Blue mountains. Lebanon County, PA news, events, and opinions. ... 31, downstream on Friday at the Swatara Creek … Do you support local news?If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Steamboat Annie, which carried passengers along the Swatara Creek. PRINTABLE VERSIONS Large Files - PDF : 1 = 736 Kb 2 = 813 Kb 3 = 913 Kb 4 = 502 Kb: ONLINE VERSIONS Smaller Files - HTML : Also try the area near Red Hill Dam on the east side of the River along Three Mile Island. There is a low-head dam on the Swatara just east of PA Route 72 and north of Jonestown. The Swatara Creek Water Trail is a 42-mile segment of Swatara Creek from Jonestown, Lebanon County, to the PA Fish & Boat Commission's Middletown Access, in Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Station Number Station name Date/Time Gage height, feet Dis-charge, ft3/s Long-term median flow 12/17 Temper-ature, water, One possibility for the dam to move forward was through Project 70, a 1964 state law allocating $70 million for use in acquiring land for public parks, reservoirs, historical sites, and other preservation efforts. When this column began 6 years ago, its stated purpose was to introduce club members to lesser-known local waterways. Contact Memorial Lake State Park office for facility seasons and hours. Susquehanna River (Red Hill Dam) Near the Dock Street dam in Harrisburg, the PFBC access areas at Fort Hunter, Millersburg and in Halifax. Your support will go directly towards stories like this and you will be helping ensure that our community has a reliable news source for years to come.Learn more about membership and join now here. The DER itself later split into the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in 1995. At the base of the dam are the remaining structures of the Swatara (iron) Furnace, which began operation in the 1830s. At this event, the Citizens Conservation Association of Lebanon County spoke against the plan, with opponents claiming the unlikelihood of fixing the Swatara’s pollution problems permanently. Located just miles from Hershey, owner Ben Miller and his trained staff provide both self-guided and guided tours of the Swatara Creek Water Trail, which is … Want to learn more about the project and the Swatara Creek and State Park? 3 lb. A 1977 series of articles written by Lebanon Daily News reporter Paul Keiser detailed the history and future of the project, which was now estimated to cost around $25 million to complete due to projected inflation. FEMA 10% Annual Chance Flood Level (10-year flood). Dams Two dams are on the Swatara Creek, a low-head dam owned by the Lebanon Water Authority, and one dam owned by PA American Water Company to provide clean water for residents of the Swatara Watershed. You seem like a real fan. The furnace, parts of two dams, the ironmaster’s mansion and a … It was in use from 1832-1862. Swatara Creek in Pennsylvania. Dams on the Swatara The Swatara currently has two small dams on it, one operated by the City of Lebanon Water Authority in Jonestown and the other by the PA American Water Company for residential service. Early in 1971, the project was approved for a $2.7-million grant by the General State Authority, one of 17 grants for park projects around the state totaling $13.3 million in all. By the late 1990s, these groups included the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which were particularly concerned for the acres of important wetlands that would be inundated by the reservoir. However, Theme by AcademiaThemes. Questions about this story? The Lower Little Swatara Creek, Schuylkill County, and Quittapahilla Creek, Though the idea of a modern dam on the Swatara has frequently been claimed to date back to 1969, newspaper records show it was actually considered as far back as May of 1960, when Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority chairman Franklin Z. Meiser “threw out” the idea of a new dam project at Inwood during a courthouse meeting with the Lebanon County Commissioners. There are two dams that are hindrances with terrible portages so I broke the creek into three sections. For comparison, attendance numbers in recent years have been around 150,000 or so. Today, Swatara State Park is dam-free and likely to stay that way for the time being. The project at that point was estimated to cost around $7 million and would have a completion date around 10 or 15 years into the future. Sections, Gauges & Water Levels Section A (Pine Grove to Rt. ... To extend the trip even further you can start at the park in Union Deposit, but there is a dam in Hummelstown that will need portaged, and if you start even further upstream from that park, a very dangerous dam is an absolute must portage, lethal hydraulic at … Photo at right: The Swatara Creek Greenway, by Rich Zaino. A long-gone dam on the creek existed between 1826 and 1862, comprising a 45-foot breast and an 800-acre impoundment that ran six miles northward in the direction of Pine Grove. Meiser subsequently stated that he had first conceived the idea even earlier in 1955, when he was a member of the Regional Planning Commission. Read More: Historic Inwood Bridge off the Swatara, being readied for new placement. Use caution at dams: With groups, avoid low-head dam in Jonestown. But in 1970, as Governor Raymond Schafer signed the “Swatara State Gap Park” into conceptual existence, officials found out that the entirety of the Project 70 funds had already been used on other projects. In addition, the Christian E Seigrist Reservoir is located in Schuylkill County, and the Dehart Dam in Dauphin County. Environmental degradation was now seen now the chief issue with the project. Goddard, still one of the project’s biggest supporters at the state level, continued to fight for it in his position as secretary of the newly-created PA Department of Environmental Resources, established after the Department of Forest and Waters was abolished in 1970. 22) To start at Pine Grove, Harper Tavern should be over 2.5’; To get through Swatara State Park, Inwood should be 3.25’. Swatara Creek (nicknamed the Swattie) is a 72-mile-long (116 km) tributary of the Susquehanna River in east-central Pennsylvania in the United States. The Swatara currently has two small dams on it, one operated by the City of Lebanon Water Authority in Jonestown and the other by the PA American Water Company for residential service. This number and others, like the estimated cost of $3 million, grew as Meiser and proponents of the idea continued to develop the project. Registration for the conference is due by January 23rd. Swatara Creek Intake. Long, but flat, mowed route. 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