Conemaugh River Lake, authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, is one of 16 flood damage reduction projects in the Pittsburgh District. Conemaugh Dam provides flood protection for the lower Conemaugh Valley, the Kiskiminetas Valley, the lower Allegheny Valley, and the upper Ohio River Valley.
Since its completion in 1952, the project has prevented more than $582 million in flood damages. In June 1972, when tropic storm Agnes struck the area, this project alone prevented $225 million in flood damage. These flood control benefits were the greatest ever realized by a project in the Pittsburgh District. The dam was able to prevent four feet of flood waters from reaching Point State Park in Pittsburgh.
To implement the production of hydroelectric power at the dam, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission issued a license to the Borough of Saltsburg, in association with Pennsylvania Renewable Resources Associates, for construction of a plant 1,200 feet downstream from the dam. This plant produces 16 megawatts of energy from two turbine generator units.
Located on the Conemaugh River, between Blairsville and Saltsburg, 7.5 miles upriver from the junction where the Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek unite to form the Kiskiminetas River.
Total Area: 8,954 acres
Drainage area above dam: 1,351 sq. mi.
Construction costs: $302,880,000
Type of structure: Concrete gravity
Volume of concrete fill: 355,500 cu yd
Maximum height above streambed: 137 ft.
Total length: 1,265 ft.
Maximum width at base: 128 ft.
Thirteen 5.67' x 10' sluice gates
Fourteen 302 ft. crest gates
Length at normal pool: 7.6 mi.
Normal Area: 800 acres
Maximum Area: 6,820 acres
River at Bottom: 850 ft.
Maximum Pool: 975 ft.
Normal Pool: 800 ft.