[3/29/18] Grant County PUD Lowers Priest Rapids Reservoir For Further Inspection

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Grant County PUD has declared a non-failure emergency at Priest Rapids Dam, lowering the reservoir for spillway inspection.

Officials say they made that move out of an abundance of caution after inspection drilling revealed leaking in spillway monoliths.

Priest Rapids Dam will continue to generate electricity and dam operations will continue as usual.

There is no threat to life or property.

The Priest Rapids Reservoir will be held at the lower end of the normal operating range.

The leaking in the spillway structure was discovered by a contract crew drilling inspection holes.

The reservoir will remain at the lowered level, at least until inspection work is finished.

The issue is different then the one on Wanapum Dam in 2014- when a fracture was found in the spillway. That repair required a prolonged reservoir draw down.

Wanapum Dam has since been repaired.

The PUD says Priest Rapids spillway monoliths are stable but merit further investigation.

The dam has 22 spillway monoliths, the expanse of concrete below each of the dam’s spill gates.