Reclamation Announces Temporary Closure at Heart Butte Dam for Well Installations

Media Contact: Patience Hurley, (701) 221-1204,

For Release: April 11, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Reclamation would like to notify the public they will be performing test drilling and installation of several new observation wells on the downstream face of Heart Butte Dam located 17 miles south of Glen Ullin, ND, beginning the week of May 1, 2017.

For safety reasons, the area below the Dam around the tunnel outlet, including the fishing platform, will be closed while this work is being performed. The public will also not be allowed to use the trail crossing the face of the dam to access the south side of the river. The affected area will be fenced off and signed - closed to public entry - however, fishing will be allowed in the downstream recreation area.

"The work is part of the investigations related to the proposed outlet works modification project," said Darrin Goetzfried, Manager of Facilities and Engineering. "The test drilling and observation wells will provide geologic data pertinent to the removal of groundwater from the proposed excavation."

For the duration of the work, which could take up to two weeks, Reclamation will keep the lake elevation around 2064.0 feet, which is 0.5 feet below the top of the spillway structure. There will be times when no water will be released from dam during this period.

For more information, please contact Patience Hurley at 701.221.1204 or Jim Weigel at 701.221.1289.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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