Williamsburg Low-Head Dam Removal

The Village of Williamsburg is partnering with the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District to remove a low-head dam on the East Fork Little Miami River (LMR) in Clermont County, Ohio.  The dam is no longer used to supply drinking water to Williamsburg residents.  Village officials have opted to remove the dam as it presents safety hazards to the community and impairs the East Fork LMR.

Low-head dams can be dangerous; they have been dubbed “drowning machines,” as people and boats can get trapped in the dam’s backwash. Unlike rapids, the moving water below the dam flows back upstream and carries objects back toward the dam. Boats and swimmers are powerless against the river due to the amount of air in the water and strength of the current.  Public safety will be greatly improved once the dam is removed.

Dam hydraulics that cause drowning

River restoration is another reason for removing the dam. Low-head dams degrade stream habitat and create barriers for fish and other species. Removing the dam will return the river to a more natural, free flowing condition. Over time, the abundance and diversity of fish, mussels, and other species will improve in this section of river.

This project was funded through Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program

Williamsburg Low-Head Dam


Ohio DNR info on low-head dams: http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/lowheaddams

Use this link to view American River’s video on dam removals: Taking a Second Look: Communities and Dam Removal.

For more information, please contact Clermont SWCD.