Author Topic: Jennifer Goheen asked the question, but no one answered.  (Read 9 times)

Michael Caswell

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Jennifer Goheen asked the question, but no one answered.
« on: September 12, 2021, 12:28:16 pm »
Jennifer asked -Can anyone knowledgeable help me understand where the canal embankments actually function as levees? In areas I am familiar with along the canal, the surrounding land is higher than the water, so the canal bank is like a riverbank. A riverbank is strengthened when it is covered with vegetation. A levee isolates a watery area from land that is (at least sometimes) lower, so there is more pressure on the barrier.
There are a thousand miles of levees on the Sacramento River delta, near where I grew up, and they are kept free of trees because tree roots can in fact cause seepage. That environment seems completely different from the parts of the Canal I know. In the Sacramento River delta, large areas are below sea level, so the levees are under big pressure, and they are relatively narrow, not like riverbanks.
Where along the Erie Canal is the land lower than the water?

And because no one else has, and obviously we can't post on the STCC Facebook page (I wonder what they are afraid of? The TRUTH perhaps?)

Attn Jennifer Goheen

I'll try to answer your questions posted on the STCC Facebook page. I am NOT a member, as you probably well know!

This page will probably help you.

To simplify this, the embankment dam is some 60 feet plus tall and runs from 31f in Fairport to The Great Embankment Park in Pittsford.

This is subject to about 15 feet depth of water, creating about 20 PSI at the bottom of the channel. Thats about the same as a garden hose turned on at half choke. A few hours of that sort of leak could cause a breech in the dam.

The water contained behind this dam will flood Jefferson Ave to Irondequoit creek, and all of the Marsh Rd area to a depth to 10-12 feet.

The force/weight of this water creates something called the PHREATIC LINE as it naturally seeps through the earthen embankment.

Vegetation on a LEVEE is a good thing, as it prevents the water flow from eroding the higher embankment, but it never gets a phreatic line and cannot be considered a dam because it is dry 99.9% of its life.

Vegetation on a DAM is completely different.
Here's why.

Unfortunately, all this is lost on the STCC. They have ignored all expert advise, and even lied to people, as you can see here.

For a more in depth study, please go to