Fordham Dam, Rock River water levels still in question

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

According to Steve Lucas, of Rock River Enterprises, low water levels downtown are still a concern, and he is still looking to ComEd, who owns the Fordham Dam, for answers.

“Water level at the dam is 70 1.4,” Lucas texted to  ComEd External Affairs Manager Paul Callighan Thursday, morning, July 24. “According to your static gauge, four gates are open five feet. Auburn Street is at 70 2.36. The trip wire is not installed. The West Bank spillway is still blocked with trees. You told us a month ago the spillway was going to be clean. The trip wire has been broke since 4th of July. When is ComEd going to actually care about the community and the effect they have on the greatest asset of this community?”

The Rock River Times spoke to Callighan Thursday afternoon. Callighan said the dam is working properly and the low levels downtown are, again, associated with a problem north of Rockford.

“We noticed there was a foot-and-a-half drop up in Rockton,” Callighan said. “And, we have been trying to adjust for that downtown. I have not observed any malfunction of the (Fordham) dam. It is working properly. It is just that it is taking some time to adjust to the low levels in Rockton.”

Callighan said crews are working to remove debris from the Fordham spillway and hope to have the site cleaned up as soon as possible.

ComEd’s goal is to operate Fordham Dam at a level that produces water levels of 702.5 feet above sea level in order to provide safe, recreational conditions on the Rock River. A variety of factors, such as inconsistencies in levels above the dam, and system malfunctions can alter those conditions.



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