Wanapum Reservoir to start filling again - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wanapum Reservoir to start filling again

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Wanapum Reservoir will begin refilling again between Nov. 24 and Dec. 11. Wanapum Reservoir will begin refilling again between Nov. 24 and Dec. 11.
EPHRATA, Wash. - After nearly 10 months of working to repair and strengthen Wanapum Dam's spillway after a crack appeared, Grant PUD is planning to raise the reservoir behind the dam,


Subject to the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the river level will begin to fill sometime between Nov. 24 and Dec. 11. The river will eventually be restored about 17 feet above currently levels. The partial refill will take between six and 18 days, and will allow fish ladders to resume operations. It will also give the utility flexibility to manage hydroelectric generation over the winter months.


While repairs continue, the reservoir shoreline will remain closed. Repairs will last through winter, but the utility expects to resume normal operations in time for the 2015 recreation season.


So far, 13 steel anchor tendons and four anchor bars have been installed. Additionally 83 monitoring drains have been drilled in the spillway. 


Commission President Bob Bernd is optimistic about the reservoir's partial refill.


“These results are directly attributed to everyone coming together with a common goal and willingness to get things done," Bernd said in a news release. "The fact that we are seeing the river level increase less than a year after we found an unprecedented fracture in our spillway is nothing short of incredible.”


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