The detention pond near the Gehring road fire station, once a beautiful piece of nature and an unofficial hockey venue for residents a few decades ago, is finally being restored to its original condition. Town crews are also working on making the pond a dry hydrant, a source of water for fire trucks during emergencies, according to a Tolland Fire Department press release.
The steadily disappearing pond has become clogged with silt, sand and brush carried by water runoff from the Apple Road area, the release said. Aerial photos from 1975 and 1985, attached above, demonstrate how the debris built up over the years.
Town crews are restoring the pond to its original shape and depth, dating back to when the firehouse was built in the early 1970s.
Workers will also install a dry hydrant at the pond, which will allow fire trucks to take water from the pond during an emergency. These hydrants are described as "dry" because the pipes of the hydrant are empty until a pump is engaged and allows the trucks to draw from the hydrant. They are an important public resource in towns without comprehensive municipal water systems, like Tolland, the release said.
Large stones will line the edge of the pond to battle potential erosion. The work, which has been approved by the Wetlands Commission, should be completed by early September.
Public Safety Director and Fire Chief John Littell said that the department has been advocating to have the restoration done for the last ten years.
The department is looking for older photos of the pond. Any residents with photos can contact the department through its website or can call the Public Safety Department at 860-871-3677.
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