Blacksmith Dam


Hyrum City owns and operates the Blacksmith Fork Dam as part of the hydropower plant that serves the city. Over the past few years, FCE has performed various services for Hyrum City regarding the dam, which include a feasibility report for dam safety compliance, an operational compliance monitoring program, determining the source of seepage from the left embankment, and Phase II dam safety studies to evaluate the structure and assess vulnerability.

Phase II studies identified potential dam safety issues and what alternatives are available to bring the dam into compliance with current dam safety standards. Studies included site work to drill test holes and collect samples of embankment and concrete materials from the dam to evaluate the structure. A geologic study of the site was also conducted to assess vulnerability of the structure to damage from an earthquake or other natural hazards present at the site.

A sinkhole in the Blacksmith Upper Dam's embankment, prompted a series of site studies, which included test hole drilling, structural analyses, ground penetrating radar surveys, seepage analyses, and related laboratory tests to evaluate the existing dam and its compliance with current Utah Dam Safety and FERC standards. Studies included overseeing the modeling of the reservoir's drainage basin to evaluate potential flooding events and their impact on the structure. The sinkhole investigation report was prepared in 2010.

During this whole process, FCE has coordinated with FERC, Utah Dam Safety, and the Forest Service on hydropower, dam, and operational issues.