Dye Test to be Conducted at Grand Coulee Dam

Media Contact: Venetia Gempler, (208) 378-5020

For Release: August 07, 2013

GRAND COULEE, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation will conduct a dye test August 8 at Grand Coulee Dam, located on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane, Wash.

The pool below the dam may be slightly discolored as engineers inject the upstream face of Grand Coulee Dam with biodegradable blue dye. The movement of the dye will help to determine the path of the seepage near the Right Powerplant which has been present and slowly increasing for a number of years and will aid engineers in the planning of future maintenance needs.

The dye is safe for the environment and harmless to animals and humans.

"This dye test will ensure the efficient operation of Grand Coulee Dam and continued reliability to provide electrical power in the Pacific Northwest," said Power Manager Mark Jenson. "The seepage near the right powerhouse poses no danger to the public and the condition of the dam is sound."

Grand Coulee Dam produces enough electricity to supply more than 1 million homes in an average water year. The project also provides about one-quarter of the total generation of hydroelectric power for the Federal Columbia River Power System.

Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1942 and serves as a multipurpose facility providing water for irrigation, hydroelectric power production, flood control, recreation, fish and wildlife.

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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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.