Maintenance Project Begins at Soda Hydroelectric Dam

August 05, 2013

SODA SPRINGS, Idaho—Routine maintenance on the Soda hydroelectric project requires that Rocky Mountain Power draw down the reservoir, which is now underway.

The reservoir level will be lowered about a foot each day until the areas of the dam scheduled for maintenance are above water. The reservoir will be lowered about 15 feet to make the work possible.

Crews will repair the dam’s spill gates. This work includes the construction of scaffolding at the dam and will begin the week of Aug. 17. The project should be completed in late September. This work is best done during the fair weather of the summer months. The utility has notified state and federal regulating agencies about the maintenance.

During this time, the boat ramps that provide motorized access to the reservoir will be out of service, as they will not reach the water. The day use recreation sites will remain available to the public. However, motorized vehicle use on the reservoir bed during the drawdown is not allowed. Digging for or collecting historic or prehistoric artifacts in the drawdown area or on company lands is a violation of state and federal laws.

The Soda hydroelectric project is located in Caribou County, Idaho, about five miles west of Soda Springs. The dam was completed in 1925 and is primarily a concrete structure, 103 feet above the river bed and 492 feet long, including a short earth-fill section on the left side of the dam. The dam is semi-automated, with employees on site during the day. Two hydroelectric turbines have a total capacity of 14 megawatts. The reservoir covers 1,100 acres and has a total storage capacity of 16,300 acre-feet. The federal license for the Soda project was renewed in 2003.


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