Workers from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC), along with volunteers and other agencies, Monday started the demolition of Savan Dam. The dam, located in Grant Township in Indiana County, is being removed to make way for a wildlife habitat and the creek's restoration.
Nick Pinizzotto, the Associate Vice President for Watershed Conservation at WPC says after seventy years, the dam has started to crumble and deteriorate into the creek. "The dam was an unnatural impediment to the stream, the aquatics community below the dam was unable to reach areas upstream." And removing the dam would allow different aquatic life to move upstream for the first time in years, allowing for a more natural ecosystem.
The project is estimated to take a number of years. Pinizotto says after demolishing the dam they will let the creek lie fallow for a year "so that we understand how the natural channel wants to flow." Pinizotto says that after that year WPC will work with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Comission to construct habitat devices.