Q. The turbine at Barton Dam has been shut down for the past couple weeks. Is this permanent?

A. The 302-acre Barton Pond was created in 1885 by the Ann Arbor Water Company to serve as a water source, and it still supplies most of the city’s water. The present dam was built in 1912 for electrical generation, using a multi-arch design developed by U-M engineering alum Gardner S. Williams; it was designated a civil engineering landmark in 1986 by the state chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The turbine was shut down for a couple of weeks of maintenance in October. It also is inactive when the flow in the river falls too low, a common occurrence in the summer. Though the dam is now 104 years old, it is expected to generate electricity long into the future.

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