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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Glory Hole

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

The Glory Hole in Lake Berryessa looks like a large sink drain.

Not too far from SERVPRO of Vacaville's doors is a unique site that is drawing a lot of visitors. Locals know it as the Glory Hole, but its official name is the Morning Glory Spillway, and simply put, it is a gigantic drain that helps release water from Lake Berryessa. The reason it is garnering so much attention is that the Glory Hole has only been used about two dozen times since it was first built in the 1950s. The Glory Hole works a lot like the drain in the side of your sink. When the water gets too high, it spills into the drain to prevent overflow. In the case of Lake Berryessa, the lake level must rise above 440 feet before water spills down into the Glory Hole. And when it does, a steady stream of visitors gather near the southern end of Lake Berryessa, near the border of Napa and Solano counties, to watch it drain. It is especially popular with Vacaville, Dixon, Winters and Davis residents since the attraction is an easy drive from all of these communities. If you haven't had a chance to make the trip to see it yet, don't worry; the Glory Hole will likely spill for a couple of months, like it did in 2017.

Once water spills into the hole, it drops about 200 feet straight down into a narrowing pipe. At the bottom, the pipe takes a 90-degree turn and runs hundreds of feet to the other side of Monticello Dam. The dam holds back Putah Creek to form Lake Berryessa, which supplies water to Vacaville, Fairfield, Suisun City and Vallejo, as well as Travis Air Force Base. While most dams have a spillway to the side to manage high waters, the Monticello Dam features the less-conventional Glory Hole, making it unique and a popular tourist stop at this time of year. Be sure to visit it while you still can!

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