The pool below the dam may be slightly discolored as engineers inject the upstream face of Grand Coulee Dam with biodegradable blue dye. The movement of the dye will help to determine the path of the seepage near the Right Powerplant, which has been present and slowly increasing for a number of years. Determining that path will aid engineers in the planning of future maintenance needs.
The dye is safe for the environment and harmless to animals and humans, the bureau said.
“This dye test will ensure the efficient operation of Grand Coulee Dam and continued reliability to provide electrical power in the Pacific Northwest,” said Power Manager Mark Jenson. “The seepage near the Right Powerhouse poses no danger to the public, and the condition of the dam is sound.”
Grand Coulee Dam produces enough electricity to supply more than 1 million homes in an average water year. The project also provides about one-quarter of the total generation of hydroelectric power for the Federal Columbia River Power System.