In 1894 construction began on the Upriver Dam and Pumping Station. The original timber crib dam had a sluiceway allowing log rafts to pass along the Spokane River. The original sites pumping station had a capacity of 10 million gallons a day.
By 1933, the timber crib dam and original pumps at Upriver were becoming damaged, worn and in need of replacement. Federal grant money was available and construction began on a new concrete dam and powerhouse. Improved in the 1980s and still in use today the Upriver Dam generates over 70 million kilowatts of electricity annually. Operated by the City of Spokane Water and Hydroelectric Services Department, electricity from the dam is used to pump water to every part of the city. Excess power is sold to Avista Utilities. The City of Spokanes drinking water is some of the highest quality and lowest cost drinking water in the state.
Upriver Dam Parameters
Total Capacity – 17,700 KW
Annual Generation – 73,962,000 KW-Hr
Enough power to run one 60-watt light bulb for 140,625 years
Firm Energy Sold to Avista Power – 45,000,000 KW-Hr
Enough power for the annual needs of 4,405 average households
Energy for Water Pumping – 28,962,000 KW-Hr
Pushing water out to serve over 70,000 water services
|Number of Units||Three|
|Type of Turbine/Hydraulic Capacity||Double Regulated Kaplan/835 CFS|
|Generator Capacity||2000 KW each|
|Number of Units||Two|
|Type of Turbine/Hydraulic Capacity||Double Regulated Kaplan/2500 CFS|
|Generator Capacity||5850 KW each|