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2021 Tulloch Updates/Information, January 7, 2021

Happy New Year! Hope this message finds you safe and well.

This update is part of Tri-Dam’s regular communications regarding reservoir management and current items of interest. Today’s email will focus on the following three topics:

Reservoir levels, and required dam inspections and gate testing.

Tri-Dam sent out an email advisory last fall explaining that the reservoir would be on an extra-low drawdown this season to allow for full cycling of the spillway gates at the dam as required by State law. The complete reservoir schedule was posted shortly thereafter. While this schedule is the same in terms of drawdown level, as has been followed every 5 years in the past, State Law enacted in 2018 post Oroville, now requires dam owners to demonstrate full operability in the presence of Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) staff every three years. (Cal. Water Code, Section 6102.5 (C))

All dams owned by Tri-Dam are inspected annually by California DSOD staff and also by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff. These inspections cover a standard list of items to ensure safety and integrity of all structures. The operation and testing of the spillway gates is done on an every three year cycle, according to State Law, and requires that each gate be fully opened and closed in the presence of an inspector to demonstrate that the motors, gates, pulleys and associated facilities will operate successfully if needed. There is no way to ensure that the systems are functioning properly without operating the motors, opening and closing of each gate, while inspecting all components. While Tri-Dam fully appreciates the inconvenience faced by the lowered reservoir levels, as we too, would prefer to maintain reservoir levels and generate additional hydropower, Tri-Dam supports the overarching goal to ensure that all of our facilities are functioning at the highest levels to ensure safety and protection of area residents and downstream communities. In addition, Tri-Dam is fully committed to ensuring that we are fully compliant with all Federal, State and local regulations.

To facilitate the addition of low water supports to existing docks at the least possible cost, the Board of Directors has set the application fee at $250.00. Once a permit is obtained and supports installed, this allows the dock to remain in position without the need for movement during drawdowns. There are a number of engineering designs that have worked quite well.

An information handout regarding permitting, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Attached is an information update, containing a list of FAQs about what types of projects require a permit and what types of projects do not require a permit. This document will also be posted on Tri-Dam’s website, under the Tulloch reservoir tab. Tri-Dam is required by its’ FERC license to implement and administer a permitting program for all facilities at the 515’ contour and below (FERC defined project boundary), and it is our goal to ensure that this process is as smooth and straightforward as possible. Most permits have been processed within 1-2 weeks, and it is our goal to continue to streamline this process wherever possible. In 2021, we will be working to develop an online application and payment process, to further advance the permitting program. Additional information will be released as we move forward. An online permit data base will also be developed in 2021-2022 to help make it easier for owners, realtors, builders and other interested persons to check past permits. Tri-Dam does retain all permitting documents, and provide copies when requested but the online system will make researching simpler and quicker.


Tulloch Day Use site.

Tri-Dam’s engineering team is working on final plans such that the day use site can be constructed this year, and available for use this recreational season. Additional updates will be provided, when available, as Tri-Dam proceeds to the final design, and construction phase of the project during pandemic operational protocol.

We hope this information is helpful, and appreciate your continuing support. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.


Susan Larson
License Compliance
PO Box 1158
Pinecrest, CA 95364
Telephone: (209) 965-3996, x148
Facsimile: (209) 965-4235