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1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Nilan Reservoir drawdown will take place mid-October, allow for repairs to dam


HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is coordinating a drawdown of Nilan Reservoir outside of Augusta, Mont., to allow for important repairs to the North and East dams next month.

Brian Holling, chief of DNRC’s State Water Projects Bureau, said the drawdown will be complete by mid-October, after which work will begin.

“A bent gate stem has rendered one of the two gates on the North Dam inoperable,” Holling said. “We will also be replacing the gate stem guides on both the North and East dams. The drawdown is necessary to provide workers with safe and dry access to complete these repairs.”

It’s estimated that a small pool of water will remain after drawdown, Holling said.

Repairs are expected to be complete by mid-November, at which time DNRC will begin refilling the reservoir. Water levels should return to normal or near-normal by the spring of 2021.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while we complete this important work,” Holling said.