PacifiCorp has lowered the water level in the section of the Deschutes River immediately upstream from its 1.11-MW Bend hydro facility (also called Mirror Pond) to accommodate repair of a leaking gate.
On Oct. 27, the company’s hydro operator noticed a leak at the bottom of a chute section of the dam designed to allow debris or ice buildup to pass downstream. PacifiCorp says, “The leak is allowing more water to pass the dam than desired, but poses no threat to public safety or the integrity of the dam.”
By the morning of Oct. 28, the river level had been lowered about 4 feet and the water level could remain down for up to two weeks.
The project was built in 1913. PacifiCorp says a leak was detected in the dam 3.5 years ago, and $250,000 in repairs were made.
PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California and as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. The company has generating capacity of nearly 10,600 MW from coal, hydro, gas-fired combustion turbines, wind and geothermal power.
Recently, PacifiCorp submitted a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to decommission the four hydroelectric plants that make up its Klamath hydropower project.