WOOLWICH TWP. – Two dams in our area, Oliphant Mill (Porches Mill) Dam, as well as Warrington Mill Dam have been closed in recent years causing rerouting of traffic.

According to Caryn Shinske of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, there is no set date for completion of the projects, but Oliphant Mill Road Dam is in the review stages with the Bureau of Dam Safety.


Shinske stated, Oliphants Mill Road (Porches Mill) Dam is owned by the Hargraves family, Woolwich Township, and Gloucester County. A permit application to reconstruct the dam has been submitted to the Bureau of Dam Safety and is under review. A reconstruction time frame for this dam has not been determined.

Warrington Mill Dam is owned by King’s View Estates, East Greenwich Township, Woolwich Township, and Gloucester County. The lake remains drained due to the prior unsafe condition of the dam.

DEP’s Bureau of Dam Safety has had several meetings with owners to discuss permit application requirements but to date has received no application for this dam.

Oliphant Mill Road has been closed since August 2020 when a strong storm wiped out the dam and road surface. Warrington Mill Road has been closed since September 2022 after inspections showed a possible instability in the dam that runs under Mill Road.

According to the New Jersey Dam Safety Inspections, there are other dams in our area with listed concerns. Cedar Road Dam in East Greenwich is listed as in poor condition with a Significant Hazard Potential classification. This dam is listed as government owned.

Lake Narraticon Dam running under Franklin Street in Swedesboro is listed as being in fair condition with a Significant Hazard Potential classification. This is listed as government owned.

Both Oliphant and Warrington Mill Dams were listed as being in poor condition. Both were listed with a Low Hazard Potential classification. Harrisonville Dam spanning Oldmans Creek has been given a satisfactory condition rating.

Poor condition rating means a dam safety deficiency for normal operating conditions. Remedial action is necessary.

A fair condition rating means there are no existing dam safety deficiencies for normal operating conditions. Rare or extreme hydraulic and/or seismic events may result in dam safety deficiency.

A significant hazard classification means dams where failure or mis-operation results in no probable loss of human life but can cause economic loss, environmental damage, disruption of lifeline facilities or other impacts of concern. These classification dams are often located in predominantly rural or agricultural areas.

By Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


July 20, 2024, 9:13 pm
Apparent: 75°F