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Allen Lake (New York) facts for kids

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Allen Lake
Allen Lake from the outlet
Allen Lake is located in New York Adirondack Park
Allen Lake
Allen Lake
Location in New York Adirondack Park
Allen Lake is located in the United States
Allen Lake
Allen Lake
Location in the United States
Location SE of Richfield Springs, New York
Coordinates 42°49′47″N 74°57′06″W / 42.82972°N 74.95167°W / 42.82972; -74.95167
Type Lake
Primary outflows Trout Brook, Richfield water supply intake line
Catchment area 1.03 square miles (2.7 km2)
Surface area 60 acres (0.094 sq mi)
Surface elevation 1,640 feet (500 m)

Allen Lake is a lake located southeast of the Village of Richfield Springs in northern Otsego County, New York. It is a natural lake, but a low earthen dam and concrete spillway were installed to raise the lake level. The main outflow is Trout Brook, also known as White Creek, which flows into Otsego Lake. Allen Lake is the water supply for Richfield Springs.


By 1820 fresh water was being shipped in to the Village of Richfield Springs from Weatherby Pond to the north. As the village grew, it required a steadier supply of fresh water. At first water came from the two holding reservoirs along US 20 east of Richfield Springs. This was still not enough water, and Allen Lake was purchased by the village. At first a steam pump pumped the water above ground but later it was buried and tunnelled through the divide so it could be gravity fed. Most of the main cast iron transmission line from the old steam pump location to the village was installed in 1880 with the exception of the roughly 1,690 feet (520 m) section that was tunnelled through the divide in the 1920s so that it could be gravity fed. The tunnelled portion ranges from 20 to 90 feet (6.1 to 27.4 m) deep. The current intake was built in the 1970s and is composed of a 12 inches (30 cm) diameter cast iron pipe that is ran from the old steam pump location on the eastern shore, where the main pipe exits the lake, out into the lake roughly 100 feet (30 m) to the intake structure that extends upward 3 feet (0.91 m) from the lake bottom. In 1994 when the present water plant was built, pumps were added, although it could still be gravity fed.

Lower reservoirs

There are two small reservoirs located directly east of the village along US 20. The upper reservoir, at an elevation of 1,494 feet (455 m), is used to hold most of the water coming through the pipe from Allen Lake. It is kept full by throttling a manual valve on a branch line coming off the main line from Allen Lake. The water travels through the aerial fountain on the upper reservoir to aerate the raw water. The lower reservoir which is seldom used, at an elevation of 1,491 feet (454 m), is kept full by an uncontrolled overflow pipe from the upper reservoir.

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