This week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will install eight new measurement devices at the base of the Oroville Dam. The devices, called piezometers will monitor seepage and will be used to confirm seepage measurements that the DWR already collects. Seepage refers to a small amount of water that can pass through the dam.
DWR said seepage is normal and expected, especially in large, earthen dams like Oroville. Seepage is measured and collected through a drainage system.
There were 56 piezometers originally installed in the dam fifty years ago which, as anticipated, have since stopped functioning. DWR plans to install additional piezometers throughout the facility in the coming years.