Echo Dam Spillway Seismic Modification Contract Awarded

Media Contact: Lisa Iams, 801-524-3673

For Release: September 10, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $9.1 million contract to Gerber Construction, Inc. of Salt Lake City for spillway improvement work at Echo Dam in Utah's Summit County. The work is being done under Reclamation's Safety of Dams Program to enhance the spillway's ability to withstand a major earthquake.

"Improving the seismic stability of the spillway structure is an essential component of the overall modification work underway at Echo Dam," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "This seismic improvement work performed under Reclamation's Safety of Dams Program is vital to ensure the public safety."

Under this contract, the spillway crest structure and portions of the chute will be demolished and rebuilt. The four large steel radial gates will also be removed and will undergo refurbishing and recoating before reinstallation. Another portion of the work will stabilize the foundation underlying the crest structure. The work is scheduled to take place between July 2013 and December 2014.

Prior field investigations at Echo Dam indicated the foundation soils underlying both the dam and spillway are potentially liquefiable during a substantial earthquake, which could cause the dam and spillway to deform. A previous contract to modify the embankment and downstream foundation will be finishing in the fall of 2013. The entire seismic modification project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

Echo Dam is a 158-foot high zoned earthfill structure on the Weber River, located one mile upstream from the town of Echo and 42 miles southeast of Ogden, Utah. Echo Dam was constructed between 1927 and 1931 as part of the Weber River Project to help supply supplemental irrigation water to approximately 109,000 acres of land west of the Wasatch Mountains. Echo Dam is owned by Reclamation and operated by the Weber River Water Users Association.

Echo Reservoir will start filling in October and could spill with a better than average snow pack in the spring of 2013. Normal water releases out of the reservoir will occur during 2013 based upon the demand from downstream irrigators through June. The reservoir may be drawn down more rapidly than normal starting in July 2013, to accommodate the spillway modification project It is anticipated that the reservoir will not be drawn down as low in 2013 as it was in 2012.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.