California lake rises to the rim of its ‘Glory Hole' spillway

Lake Berryessa is expected to reach full capacity on Saturday, when tourists will flock to the area to see water flow into its unusual spillway like a giant bathtub drain.


NSFW    LAKE BERRYESSA, CALIFORNIA — The Lake Berryessa reservoir in northern California is set to reach full capacity for the first time in 11 years. If that happens, water will begin flowing into the lake’s Glory Hole spillway like a giant bathtub drain. Crowds of tourists are expected to flock to the area to see the unusual sight.

The Glory Hole spillway is located about 200 feet from the Monticello Dam. The distance from the Glory Hole to its exit point, located in Putah Creek, is about 700 feet. The Glory Hole is a morning glory-type spillway. Shaped like a funnel, it is 72 feet in diameter at its lip and narrows to about 28 feet at its exit.

Water starts spilling into the Glory Hole when the lake fills up to a level of 1,602,000 acre-feet. The Glory Hole can release a maximum of 362,000 gallons of water per second.

Water is expected to begin pouring into the Glory Hole this Saturday, as heavy rain is predicted in the coming days. The last time this happened was in 2006.
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