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US firm completes Columbia River dam restoration project

Emagineered Solutions installs waterstop tech to restore 50 year-old Wanapum Dam

Technology to restore and modernise old dams is helping to boost hydropower in the US

A water control engineering firm has installed its technology to complete a major hydropower restoration project in the US. Oregon firm Emagineered Solutions has completed the installation of its proprietary Remedial WaterStop technology, RWS-G5, in two monolith joints at the 50 year-old Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River. Construction of the dam was completed in 1963.

RWS-G5 is a proprietary expandable hydrophilic polyurethane cylinder. Emagineered Solutions said it is “relied upon as the demonstrated solution” for the repair of monolith joint leaks in large concrete gravity dams.

“The technology is specifically designed and installed to resolve troublesome expansion joint leakages located amidst hydro infrastructure maintenance-restoration challenges,” the company said.

The Grant County Public Utility District (GCPUD) owns the Wanapum dam and a second large hydroelectric dam on the Columbia River, Priest Rapids. These facilities, licensed together as the Priest Rapids Project, make up the second largest non-federal hydroelectric project in the country, with the ability to produce nearly 2,000MW of electricity.

The Priest Rapids Project’s clean, renewable hydroelectricity powers Grant County and millions of homes and businesses across the US northwest, according to GCPUD.
Steve Waring, president and CEO of Emagineered Solutions, said: “We are honoured to serve the needs of Grant County PUD again at the Wanapum facility.”

According to Warring this is the third project Emagineered Solutions has completed at Wanapum and the fourth and fifth monolith joints that have received their RWS-G5 treatment.

The news from Emagineered Solutions in the US follows work to develop hydropower in the BRIC countries this month. This includes leading hydropower organisations in the UK and China partnering to promote hydro in the BRIC country.