Fish Creek Dam
repair plan OK’d
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
The Idaho Department of Water Resources
has approved a plan by the Fish Creek Reservoir Company to repair holes
in Fish Creek Dam, located northeast of Carey.
"We propose to patch 11 holes
in the downstream buttresses," said Marilyn Broek, an engineer
from Twin Falls contracted by the reservoir owners to help them find
a solution to their problem.
In November, state dam safety engineers
ordered the Fish Creek Reservoir Company to prove that the 92-foot high
dam is still safe. The Idaho Department of Water Resources said the
dam might need to be breached to prevent its possible failure due to
Members of the reservoir company
said the dam needed repairs, but that they could not meet the 30-day
deadline to fix the problem the state had initially set. The state agreed
to grant the group an extension.
"The order we issued was to
show cause why we shouldn’t breach the dam," said Dick Larsen,
spokesman for the Idaho Department of Water Resources. "This fulfills
If the approved, repairs will go
forward as scheduled and the company will be allowed to fill the dam
to its total capacity of 12,000 acre feet.
Larsen said the patching plan should
provide a safe solution, but he said the patches are a temporary fix
that would require future evaluation.
"Assuming they do the work
properly, we’ll grant a storage certificate," he said.
The plan is to chip out any loose
material in the holes, which are about four to six inches in diameter
and fill them with concrete.
Broek anticipates making a patch
that is two feet in diameter and 18 inches thick, reinforced with iron
rebar for integrity. The patches must be thoroughly tested before normal
filling of the reservoir is approved, she said.
"It is a massive dam,"
she said. "The first time I saw it, it was like seeing the Coliseum.
It’s old and so am I, but I’d hate to think that means I am useless.
It’s something Blaine County should be very proud of."
The work should be completed prior
to April 1 and heavy spring runoff, Broek said.
She would like to start the work
in February because the concrete takes 28 days to reach proper strength,
The repair is expected to cost $55,000
and will be paid by the reservoir company.