Does a Dammed River Have the Status of a Mikveh?


Philadelphia, PA

Can a lake that was created by damming up a river be used as a keilim mikveh? The dam is that straight line at the bottom of the lake. The lake in question is called “Henion Pond.” You can see the two rivers/streams that lead into it.



First, there is no difference between the requirements for a keilim mikveh and one for a niddah, other than a keilim mikveh does not need 40 se’ah if we are dealing with מעיין (not rain water). In such a case, a keilim mikveh needs just enough to fully cover the keli. See Tur at the beginning of YD 201,

ואף אם תטבול במעיין צריך שיהא בו מ’ סאה אף על גב דמעיין מטהר בכל שהוא היינו דוקא לכלים אבל אדם אפילו אם הוא קטן שכל גופו מתכסה בפחות ממ’ סאה אין טבילה עולה בו אא”כ יהא מ’ סאה.

Also see Beit Yosef YD 201, and Taz YD 201:1.


As to this case, it is totally kosher. It is a מקוה, not a מעין, because the water is now standing. As such, it has the restrictions of a mikveh. It needs 40 se’ah even for keilim and it can’t be flowing. The relevant ruling is in Shulchan Arukh YD 201:10,

מעיין שהמשיכו לבריכת מים שהם נקוים ועומדים, יש לו דין מעין; ואם הפסיק ראש הקילוח, חזר להיות לה דין מקוה.

There is debate in the poskim under what circumstances even dammed water might have a status of מעיין, but all agree that it is minimally a mikveh. So you are fine to use it for a keilim mikveh and even for a mikveh for niddah immersion.

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