Visiting the Simsbury Reservoir Dam


USSD’s outgoing Chair of the Member Committee, Bill Hover of GZA of Norwood Massachusetts, and incoming USSD Executive Director Gene Guilford of Simsbury, CT, inspected the Tuller Reservoir Dam in Simsbury, CT on April 18th.

The Tuller Reservoir Dam is an earth embankment built about 1900 and impounding Hop Brook in Simsbury, Connecticut. The dam is approximately 240 feet in length (not including spillway), seven feet wide at the top, 45.5 feet in height and has a maximum impoundment capacity of 175 acre-feet. The spillway is a concrete lined channel cut into bedrock at the right end of the dam. It consists of an 18 foot long, trapezoidal shaped concrete weir, a concrete training wall on the left side and a vertical rock cut on the right side. A gatehouse with a concrete foundation and brick superstructure is located at the central portion of the upstream slope. The low-level outlet is an 18 inch cast iron pipe extending through the gatehouse to the upstream slope. Three intake pipes allow water into a chamber in the gatehouse foundation which drains through the low-level outlet. The slopes and top of dam are covered with grass, dense brush, and tree saplings. A footpath extends along the top of the dam for the entire length. Based upon the visual inspection at the site and past performance of the dam, the project is judged to be in poor condition. There are areas requiring repair, maintenance and monitoring such as concrete deterioration, slope erosion, brush on the slopes and a seep on the downstream slope.

Bill is inspecting what appears to be some seepage above and to the right of the spillway


The Simsbury reservoir hasn’t been used for the area’s water supply in decades, and today this area is sparingly used for recreational boating and fishing by local residents and some of the students from the adjacent Masters School.

ADA143977  This is the most recent evaluation of the Tuller Dam by the Corps of Engoneers.

This was Gene’s first dam inspection since he joined USSD last week, and it turns out the dam and reservoir were right in his home town.