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Think Out Loud

Dam Leak Could Affect Mirror Pond Debate

Bend's Mirror Pond from Drake Park

Bend’s Mirror Pond from Drake Park

David Nogueras/OPB

In July, we dove into a debate in Bend over what to do about the city’s iconic Mirror Pond. The pond that appears on the city seal and on bottles of Deschutes beer was created more than a century ago by the Newport Avenue Dam on the Deschutes River. Residents are deciding how best to deal with a buildup of silt in the pond. There are a lot of options on the table, including dredging the pond and removing the dam to allow the river to flow freely.

Now, a leak in the dam has added a new twist to the debate. PacifiCorp, the company that owns and operates the dam, says the leak does not pose a safety risk. But the water level in the pond is dropping and will likely drop farther as the company investigates the leak.

Do you live in Bend? Do you vacation there? What’s your take on Mirror Pond?

environment bend dam mirror pond water

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