Drilling to begin for Ochoco Dam seismic stability studies

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The federal Bureau of Reclamation will begin drilling in early April to collect soil samples at Ochoco Dam east of Prineville. Crews will be working near the toe of the dam’s downstream face, collecting soil samples from the embankment and foundation at six drill sites to refine existing studies of the dam's seismic stability.   This work is being done as part of Reclamation’s Safety of Dams program to ensure the continued safety and integrity of Ochoco Dam.


The Dam Safety program’s goal is long-term stability of dams to protect lives and property and to maintain the physical integrity of Reclamation dams. The agency said "the program is recognized worldwide as the standard for dam safety and risk management." The Bureau of Reclamation said its engineers assess all of the agency's dams under strict criteria established by the program. Each structure is periodically reviewed for stability under seismic and hydrologic loading and for indications of internal erosion and physical deterioration. The Bureau of Reclamation advised the public to be aware of drilling equipment near the dam and to stay clear of the area. The drill crews are expected to continue work through May. Ochoco Dam has been part of Reclamation’s Crooked River Project since 1956. It stores water for the Ochoco Irrigation District.

Thank you, Ron