Ochoco Dam Drilling Begins Next Week

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322

For Release: March 29, 2017

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – In early April, the Bureau of Reclamation will begin drilling to collect soil samples at Ochoco Dam. Drill crews will be working near the toe of the dam’s downstream face. Soil samples will be collected from the embankment and foundation at six drill sites to refine existing Ochoco Dam studies for seismic stability.

This work is being done as part of Reclamation’s Safety of Dams program to ensure the continued safety and integrity of Ochoco Dam.

The Dam Safety program’s goal is long-term stability of dams to protect lives and property and to maintain the physical integrity of Reclamation dams. The program is recognized worldwide as the standard for dam safety and risk management.

Reclamation engineers assess all of Reclamation’s dams under strict criteria established by the program. Each structure is periodically reviewed for stability under seismic and hydrologic loading and for indications of internal erosion and physical deterioration.

Reclamation advises the public to be aware of drilling equipment near the dam and to stay clear of the area. The drill crews are expected to continue work through May.

Ochoco Dam has been part of Reclamation’s Crooked River Project since 1956. It stores water for the Ochoco Irrigation District.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.