Precautionary Action Taken at Lake Lowell: Public is Advised to Expect Delays

Media Contact: Diana Cross, 208-378-5020
Jerry Gregg, 208-383-2246

For Release: May 16, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation contracted with a local company to begin hauling material to the Upper Embankment of Deer Flat Dam this week. A small berm, or cofferdam, and steel cutoff wall will be constructed to isolate the intake structure and outlet works that transfer water through the dam into the Caldwell canal.

Recent inspections and drilling by Reclamation crews have identified weak spots in the foundation beneath the outlet works conduit. As a precautionary measure, the usual intake arrangement will be isolated to avoid putting further pressure on the weak area. The work is expected to take about two weeks. Crews will be monitoring the site around the clock.

A primary purpose of Lake Lowell is to supply water for irrigation. If irrigation flows through the outlet works are interrupted, a siphon will be installed to allow continued water delivery to the Caldwell Canal.

Reclamation will work with staff from the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge to continue providing access to Refuge headquarters during construction. Public visiting the refuge should be prepared for delays.

Lake Lowell is an offstream reservoir formed by three earthfill dams, Upper, Middle, and Lower Embankments, southwest of Nampa, Idaho. Active storage capacity of Lake Lowell is approximately 160,000 acre-feet. It currently is about 63 percent full. Lake Lowell was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1908 as a feature of the Boise Project.

Participating in the precautionary activity is the Boise Project Board of Control, which is responsible for the normal operation and maintenance of Lake Lowell and its dams. Local emergency management officials have been notified. The construction company is Macro-Z, a contractor with an office in Boise, Idaho. Note to Editors:

A briefing for media with photo opportunity, will be held on site at the Upper Embankment Dam on Tuesday, May 17 at 11:30 a.m. Following the onsite briefing, access to the construction site will be limited for safety reasons. Please call John Redding at 378-5012 for directions.

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