Problems at Waltham dam mean large parts of the Charles in Newton could be a fetid mud flat this summer
UPDATE: The state Department of Conservation and Recreation will lower the level of the Charles at the dam by three feet Sunday night to allow for inspection of the dam's catwalk and flashboards, which are showing "significant deterioration of structural components." The dam itself is fine, the state says. The extra water will be diverted into the Mother Brook in Dedham. Read more.
Ian Lamont reports a particularly leaky Moody Street dam has let so much water downstream that mudflats are already appearing upstream. He quotes a report from longtime river watcher Michael St. Clair:
... I have been measuring the level of Charles waters above the Moody dam for years, and the water level is being lowered by about 2 inches per day. We are currently at mid summer [low] levels with no end in sight of slowing the rate of flow. This will result in large mud flats near areas like Norumbega recreation area in Auburndale and other areas of Newton that border the Charles. This is disruptive for recreation users, for wildlife, for reasons of smell and ugliness. ...