Dams - Earth & Rehabilitation Projects

Izee, Oregon
Offier's Dam - Utley Creek Ranch

The Officer’s Dam on the Utley Creek Ranch, near Izee, Oregon, is an earth-fill structure approximately 1,000 feet long with a maximum height of 41 feet. Leakage beneath the dam prevented water storage. Newton conducted subsurface geotechnical investigations, finding permeable gravels beneath dam foundation soils through which reservoir waters leaked. Newton designed an impervious cutoff wall consisting of bentonite-soils-water slurry extending from the top of the dam to a maximum approximate depth of 30 feet below the bottom of the dam, prepared contract and construction documents for the wall and conducted construction observation and consulting services for wall installation. The reservoir now functions as a storage facility. This work was done in coordination with the Oregon Water Resources Department-Dam Safety Division.

Crook County, Oregon
Black Snag Dam - William Smith Properties

Newton conducted geotechnical and hydrological analyses and designed the Black Snag earthfill Dam located on Black Snag Creek in Crook County, Oregon. The dam and reservoir are intended to store water for irrigation and recreational fishery. Newton also prepared construction specifications and provided construction observation and consulting services when the dam was built. The maximum height and length of the dam are approximately 40 and 350 feet, respectively. The reservoir capacity is approximately 560 acre-feet. This work was done in coordination with the Oregon Water Resources Department-Dam Safety Division.

Dick Dam and Spillway Improvements
The Nature Conservancy - Juniper Hills Preserve

The Dick Dam is an earthfill structure about 30 feet high and 1,100 feet long and impounds water from the Lost Creek watershed about 12 miles east of Post, Oregon, in Crook County. Stored water is for supplemental irrigation. The dam and spillway were not consistent with standards of the Oregon Water Resources Department-Dam Safety Division.

Newton evaluated the dam and spillway, including analysis of spillway capacity and recommended improvements to the dam and the spillway to bring them up to dam safety standards. Newton work included securing funding from the Deschutes River Conservancy, Governor’s Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Crooked River Watershed Council, obtaining permits from the Oregon Division of State Lands, US Army Corps of Engineers, design of the required improvements and construction observation and consulting services.

Crook County, Oregon
Grindstone Dam - G.I. Ranch

Newton investigated seepage and recommended improvements to the existing Grindstone Dam for control of the seepage. The dam is about 34 feet high with a crest length of approximately 580 feet and stores approximate 427 acre-feet of water for irrigation. The investigation and design work for seepage control was done in coordination with the Oregon Water Resources Department-Dam Safety Division.

Clarno, Oregon
Sluice Canyon Dam & Reservoir Project - John Day Ranch, LLC

Newton conducted feasibility evaluations for two dam and reservoir sites on this large ranch located east of the John Day River, south of Clarno, Oregon in Wheeler County. These evaluations indicated the projects are not feasible at these sites. A third site was found on Sluice Canyon and evaluated by Newton and found to be feasible. Newton designed an earthfill dam for the site that is approximately 45 feet high and 450 feet long. Water storage will be for irrigation and wildlife purposes.

Work by Newton included design of the dam and spillway, obtaining storage permits from the Oregon Water Resources Department, construction permits from the Oregon Division of State Lands/Corps of Engineers, evaluation of the watershed for runoff and gravel recruitment potential, collaboration with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on gravel recruitment potential and creek flow conditions.

Mt. Hood, Oregon
Wasco Dam Modifications - Juniper Flat District Improvements Co.

The Wasco Dam forms Clear Lake near Mt. Hood and provides irrigation water for the Juniper Flat District Improvement Company (the Company) lands on the high plateau west of Maupin, Oregon. The earthfill dam was designed and built by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). Newton was asked by the Company to represent its interests in review, discussion and evaluation of various modifications being considered by the BOR to reduce seepage beneath the dam. Newton services included meetings with BOR design team members, meetings with the BOR risk management personnel and design team in Denver, CO, consultations with the Company on options and costs, and construction observations during construction of the chosen option.

Grants Pass, Oregon
Savage Rapids Dam - Grants Pass Irrigation District

Newton conducted a five-year study of the Grants Pass Irrigation District (the District) to determine irrigation water needs, delivery methods and efficiency, and the role of the District in an urbanizing environment. The work included evaluation of fish passage improvement alternatives relative to Savage Rapids Dam. The work was conducted in coordination with an 18-person oversight committee composed of environmental interests, Josephine County, City of Grants Pass, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Oregon Water Resources Department, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and others. Newton facilitated the periodic meetings and prepared the “Grants Pass Irrigation District Water Management Study” which included recommendations to remove Savage Rapids Dam and use of pumps in place of the dam, provided that the continuation and health of the District are ensured.

Sisters, Oregon
McKenzie Canyon Dam & reservoir - Squaw Creek Irrigation District

The McKenzie Canyon Dam northeast of Sisters, Oregon was designed and built in 1957 by the Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service) to function as a regulating reservoir for the Three Sisters Irrigation District (the District). The dam is an earthfill structure about 15 feet high. Water leakage from the downstream slope of the dam was discovered by the District. Evaluation of the seepage indicated the possibility of an open flow channel in the soil dam embankment. Newton investigated the seepage and developed a solution consisting of removal of soils around the outlet works and the outlet works themselves, replacement of the outlet works with an improved system, placement of a homogeneous upstream embankment and core, construction of a downstream filter and drain system. Newton also provided construction observation and consulting during the repair work.

Wasco County, Oregon
Rock Creek Dam Spillway Improvements - Rock Creek District Improvement Co.

The Rock Creek Dam is an earthfill structure about 51 feet high and 780 feet long and impounds water from the Rock Creek watershed in Wasco County, Oregon. The reservoir stores up to about 1,600 acre-feet of water for irrigation needs of the Rock Creek District Improvement Company which supplies water to about 3,600 acres of agricultural lands. Newton evaluated spillway capacity to pass flows of a 1/2 Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) event and prepared recommendations to increase spillway capacity to PMF flow rate. This work was done in coordination with the Oregon Water Resources Department-Dam Safety Division.

Mount Angel, Oregon
Dam & Reservoir Feasiblity Studies - East Valley Irrigation District

The East Valley Irrigation District needs irrigation water for 15,000 to 20,000 acres of crop land in the Silverton-Mount Angel area. Newton conducted reconnaissance of potential dam and reservoir sites and conducted preliminary feasibility evaluations of selected sites. Newton also evaluated other alternatives for long-term water supply for irrigation purposes including ground water recharge/storage and importing water to the project area from the Santiam River via pipeline.

City of Gresham, Oregon
Kelly Creek Detention Facility

Newton provided civil, geotechnical and hydrological services and designed a regional detention facility for the Kelly Creek watershed. The facility includes an earthfill dam about 20 feet in maximum height to detain storm water and reduce flooding and channel erosion caused by urbanization, and to enhance water quality and riparian habitat. The facility was designed to blend in with existing natural features of the site, including established grove of cedar trees, pond and habitat area. Newton also provided construction observation and consulting services.

Gresham, Oregon
Irrigation Reservoir Systems -
Persimmon Residential Community and Golf Course

Newton evaluated feasibility of using ground water for golf course irrigation since surface water for this purpose is not available. The work included locating and designing irrigation wells, dam and reservoir systems to store the pumped water and surface runoff. Newton assisted the owner with obtaining irrigation water right permits. Permit applications for both the water rights and the dams were “fast-tracked” through the Oregon Water Resources Department.


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