Exploration Study to Continue through November at Deer Flat Dams

Media Contact: Diana Cross, (208) 378-5020
Larry Wolf, (208) 378-5220

For Release: September 20, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation started drilling this week at the Upper and Lower Embankments at Deer Flat Dams to determine what type of corrective actions may be needed to ensure the stability of the structures and protect public safety. Deer Flat Dams are located southwest of Nampa, Idaho.

This exploration program is part of a corrective action study that got underway this spring and it is expected to run through November. The study involves drilling to collect soil samples for analysis and installing instruments to measure water levels around the outside of the conduits.

Inspection inside the canal conduits will be undertaken at the end of the irrigation season. The data will then be analyzed by engineers to determine if modifications to the structures will be necessary.

Truck-mounted drilling rigs will drill holes between 30 feet to 60 feet deep at the toe of the upstream and downstream embankment slopes and on the crest of both dams. The drilling is expected to cause minimal disruption of normal traffic patterns across the embankments. Construction crews have signs and traffic cones in place to alert drivers of proper roadway access.

Lake Lowell is an offstream reservoir formed by three earthfill dams, Upper, Middle, and Lower Embankments, southwest of Nampa, Idaho. Lake Lowell was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1908 as a feature of the Boise Project. Recreation is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.

Reclamation will continue to coordinate with the Canyon County Commissioners, refuge staff, local law enforcement, and the state of Idaho to ensure that the public is informed of the progress. Visitors to the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge are asked to contact the refuge at (208) 467-9278 for information about their operation schedule and land access.

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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.

Relevant Link:

Safety of Dams Program