Ring Gate Spillway Shaft Inspection - September 2014

“Five years previous the idea of an inspection rappel down the Glory Hole was mentioned. Several who participated in

the rappel of the face voiced their wish to do that as well should the opportunity come up.”

“Through the efforts of our current dam supervisor , the management staff of Owyhee Irrigation District and the Bureau

of Reclamation we were able to make it happen.”

This structure is scheduled to be inspected every ten years. The last inspection was done by the US

Bureau of Reclamation September 10-12th of 2001. With that in mind Owyhee Irrigation District organized an

inspection rappel. The US Bureau of Reclamation was contacted and invited to participate as well as other

emergency services organizations.

By including these agencies we were able to maximize the emergency support as well as complete a

detailed inspection by BOR.

In addition to the inspection rappel, Malheur County Search and Rescue rope rescue team performed a

rigged rope rescue from the ring gate control room. This is a narrow spiral staircase and poses a real challenge

to extricate a patient.


November 20, 2013 Rex Franklin our Owyhee Dam supervisor received a copy of the JHA and 2001

Climb Team Spillway Inspection Report sent by BOR. During the next ten months the real work was

done putting together the pieces to safely complete these tasks.

The Owyhee Dam Vertical Shaft Spillway (Glory Hole) drawings show it to be a 309 foot vertical

elevation from top to bottom. The outlet tunnel was the river bypass tunnel during construction of the dam.

Upon completion a plug was poured to the up stream side of the horizontal shaft and a transition slope formed

to the vertical shaft forming the completed spillway.