Following Up: Tours of Hibernia Dam at Chambers Lake in Hibernia County Park
Posted October 11, 2022
Mark Chegwidden, CCWRA Water Resources Specialist, demonstrates how CCWRA monitors water levels at Hibernia Dam.
The Chester County Water Resources Authority (CCWRA) led tours of Hibernia Dam at Chambers Lake, part of Hibernia County Park, on September 15 and 17. Thirty-one people joined CCWRA staff in these 50-minute guided walking tours, which included information on the history of the dam and how CCWRA operates the dam for flood protection, support of safe and reliable drinking water supply in the greater Coatesville area, and recreation, such as fishing and boating.
The tours also described recent improvements to the dam as well as how CCWRA partners with the Chester County Parks + Preservation Department and the Chester County Facilities Department to manage and maintain Hibernia Dam and Chambers Lake.
"I enjoyed the walking tour and appreciated hearing about the history of Hibernia Dam. Craig and Mark were great hosts, and their presentation and handouts taught me and others how the dam was built and how it functions," tour participant Stan Marciniak of West Chester said. "Through their equipment demonstrations, Craig and Mark also helped us better understand the ongoing monitoring and maintenance activities required for the dam. Thanks to Craig, Mark, and the Chester County Water Resources Authority for this very informative event."
For more than 25 years, Hibernia Dam and Chambers Lake have been providing recreation, water supply, and flood protection to residents in Chester County. While many people visit the lake for its variety of recreational opportunities, it is also important for visitors to understand the history of the lake and its purpose today.
Currently, the lake includes 94 acres, is 48 feet at its deepest point, and has the floodwater storage capacity of 257 million gallons and a water supply storage capacity of 382 million gallons. Chambers Lake supports warm water fishes including Panfish, Channel Catfish, Chain Pickerel, and Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. While fishing is permitted 24 hours a day, the northern end of the lake is designated as a wildlife sanctuary and is closed from April 1 through June 15.
In addition to the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the property, CCWRA and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service completed the Hibernia Dam Rehabilitation Project in 2020 to enhance the structural capability of the dam in order to meet updated design standards and extend the life of these resources for an additional 50 years.
This year's tours, once again, provided an informational and unique opportunity to see the work that is being done behind the scenes to help keep Chester County a desirable place to live, work, and play.