Senator Wash Dam Repairs Will Help Conserve Colorado River Water

Recreation Site Will Be Restricted During a Portion of the Work

Media Contact: Jack Simes, 928-343-8334

For Release: September 10, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded an $808,899 contract on September 3, 2004, to Au' Authum Ki, Inc. of Chandler, Ariz., for construction of a berm to control seepage through the foundation of Senator Wash Dam, allowing greater flexibility for the reservoir to conserve Colorado River water. The new, 200-foot long, 45-foot high berm will be 30 feet thick at the bottom.

The reservoir has been under operating restrictions since 1992 because of seepage through the dam's foundation. This project will restore the reservoir's storage capacity and also enhance its recreational value.

To accomplish the work, Reclamation will lower the water level of Senator Wash Reservoir to 210 feet approximately 20 feet below normal. Lowering of the reservoir is anticipated to start on September 23, 2004, and refilling is expected to begin on October 5. Normal reservoir operations are anticipated to begin on or about October 9.

During the construction period, which will last from September 13 to October 15, boaters and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts are urged to use caution while using the reservoir. The boat launch will be above water level and users might have difficulty putting in and/or pulling out of the facility. Travelers in the vicinity of Senator Wash Dam are also advised to take precautions and watch for heavy equipment.

Senator Wash Dam and Reservoir is located 18 miles northeast of Yuma, Ariz., on the California side of the Colorado River, two miles upstream from Imperial Dam.

Reclamation will issue periodic updates on the project's status.

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