Lake Oroville Spillway Works in Full Swing
Crews working at the Lake Oroville Spillway are continuing to make progress on the project, nearly one week since flows from the spillway were halted to give excavators better access for debris removal.
“Our crews continue to make great progress on this 24/7 operation,” said DWR Acting Director Bill Croyle. “We’re seeing very positive results from their efforts.”
The wet weekend weather has not significantly interfered with debris removal or created a lake elevation concern, reports California Department of Water Resources.
DWR does not expect Lake Oroville to rise above 860 feet elevation while spillway flows are halted. This still would be 41 feet below the level at which the emergency spillway would be used.
In the channel at the base of the main spillway, approximately 329,000 cubic yards of the estimated 1.7 million cubic yards of debris have been removed. The dredging will help the Hyatt Power Plant reach full capacity.
According to DWR, debris removal lowered the water level in the channel at the base of the spillway, making it possible for the plant to resume operation Friday.
Following a successful restart Friday, the plant was shut down on Saturday to give excavators better access to the debris. The plant is expected to be restarted soon. It will give DWR an additional method to release water from the reservoir, added DWR.
Once fully operational, the plant can release up to 13,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) as DWR manages reservoir inflows and outflows of spring runoff. DWR halted flows down the damaged flood control spillway on February 27 to begin the debris removal operation.
Work continues on the area below the emergency spillway.