I was up there on Saturday and noticed that the reservoir appears to be 8-10 feet lower than the level at the end of May/beginning of June. (I'll post some photos on Wed; there is even a "beach" along the shoreline next to the dirt road) I've hiked past the reservoir during the past 15 years and this is the lowest I've ever seen it (but perhaps it's always this low at the end of the summer, and I just was either not there to see it, or didn't notice?) Anyone know about the typical levels of the reservoir throughout the year? 8-10 foot drop in 3 months seems pretty drastic to me, and seems to indicate that the level could get low enough to be of real concern in just a few more months if there is no significant rain event. I'm under the impression that the reservoir is Beacon's only source of water for the city distribution system. Can someone verify that?
The reservoir on Mt. Beacon is one of three that supply the city. The other two are the Cargill and Melzingah reservoirs. Note that the Mt. Beacon reservoir is located in Fishkill. The Cargill is off East Mountain Road in Cold Spring and the Melzingah is near Breakneck Ridge.
The water from the three reservoirs is blended with additional water from three ground wells according to levels and need at the water filtration facility on Liberty Street. In 2014, the city used an average of just under 2.5 million gallons of water per day.
The City of Beacon recently declared a drought condition.
Thanks for the info! I imagine that Melzingah is REALLY low right now if the Mt. Beacon reservoir is as low as it appears to be. (I've only hiked by it once before, and it seemed to be a pretty minimal potential water source) It's good to know that wells are part of the equation!
I'm catching this thread in December (and it's currently raining!!), but thought I'd add these links to the convo for anyone reading.
The Philipstown Paper has covered it well in two articles that I have seen. They cover the drought and dry wells. Really interesting to learn how the water is collected.
Mark at Wigwam has also covered it: