County commissioner describes Eightmile Lake plans

August 16, 2018

Chelan County commissioner Keith Goehner says more work is planned at Eightmile Lake.

The Icicle Peshastin Irrigation District installed a rock spillway on its old earthen dam this past Spring to reduce the risk of failure. That risk was heightened by fears of extra runoff following a forest fire last summer in the lake's headwaters. Now, according to Goehner, the irrigation district expects to do more.

"They're talking about taking pipe up there to install a siphon so they can drain the lake a little more and get the in-stream flows," Goehner told North Central Washington Life TV. "They'd like to get up there yet this Fall and do some work on the dam, that's still being worked out with the permits and all the paperwork."

The siphon idea was deferred from last spring's plan to stabilize the dam. The irrigation district waited to see if it could unclog the old pipe below the dam. That did not work, so now it wants to install a siphon. It must first provide the Forest Service with detailed plans, which according to reports as of last month it had not done.

Goehner is concerned that losing another season of water storage would have a downstream impact. "It's important to have that lake managed as it has been and meter that water out over the course of the summer," he said.

Goehner described for NCW Life what the irrigation district eventually hopes to do.

"What they need to do is basically install a dam," Goehner said. "The visual difference is that it will be a modern dam as opposed to a dam built in the 1920s or 30s. The earthen portion will probably be a concrete wall, there will be a wider spillway and the gates will look different. It will be more of a visual fixture up there as opposed to just blending in with the environment the way it did."