Friday, September 19, 2014, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Meet in Riverfront Park, outside of the power house building, which is adjacent to the Spokane River, next to the bulletin board, next to the narrow pedestrian bridge. The building is between parking lot 6 (off of Post Street) and the IMAX Theater.
507 N Howard St, Spokane
Directions and Parking and Park Map
The park map doesn't show the power house building but Google maps does.
Engineering and sciences come alive when you explore them at a dam. A Hydro Safety, Security & EAP Coordinator and a Chief Operator from Avista's Upper Falls dam are our tour guides as we see spill water, the power house, the control room, the generator deck, and the dam and all the construction and maintenance workers it takes to keep producing hydroelectricity for our area.
Photo credits: Avista
Avista was founded on clean, renewable hydropower with the construction of the Monroe Street Hydroelectric Development in 1889. Today, Monroe Street and our other hydroelectric facilities on the Spokane River have the capability to generate more than 100 megawatts of clean, reliable hydroelectric energy, enough to power more than 75,000 of our customers' homes.
Completed in 1922, the Upper Falls Hydroelectric Development was instrumental in meeting the growing demands of Spokane's industrial and residential developments. Upper Falls also helped power Spokane’s early electric streetcar system. The diversion dam (also known as the Division Street Control Works) is located on the river's main channel. It diverts water through the south river channel, past the Spokane Convention Center and Red Wagon, and into the development's intake structure. Here, via an eighteen-foot diameter underground pipe called a penstock, the water is directed downhill to the powerhouse where it is used to generate electricity. This water is then returned, unaffected, back into the main river channel.
Want to know more about the pros and cons of dams before or after your field trip? Then visit the dam debate at HowStuffWorks.com. FEMA may tell us, "Dams provide a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including recreation, flood control, water supply, hydroelectric power, waste management, river navigation, and wildlife habitat." But Jacques Leslie, author of Deep Water: The Epic Struggle over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, explains: "The world's dams have shifted so much weight that geophysicists believe they have slightly altered the speed of the earth's rotation, the tilt of its axis, and the shape of its gravitational field."
Ages: grades 4 - 12.
The tour attendees will be divided into two groups, based on the students grade level. One group will have presentation content designed for students in grades 4 - 6. The other group will have presentation content designed for students in grades 7 - 12. Please keep your family together. You have to stay with all of your children at all times. Please choose one group best suited for all your students. Your family will only register for one tour group. If you are unsure about which group to attend, feel free to contact us.
What to bring: Camera (You can take pictures everywhere except the control room). There are picnic shelters at Riverfront Park so you are welcome to bring your sack lunch to enjoy the park before your tour time.
Note: This tour will be mostly outside so dress accordingly. Only closed-toed shoes please.
Tour limit: 50 people