Authorization: Flood Control Act, approved July 24, 1946; Project Document HD 290, 80th Congress, 1st Session.
Location: At river mile 48.6 on Polecat Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River, about 11 miles southwest of Sapulpa in Creek County, Oklahoma, and two miles upstream from U.S. Highway 66 between Sapulpa and Oklahoma City.
Purpose: Flood control and conservation. (Water supply, recreation, and fish and wildlife are contained in the conservation purpose.)
History of Construction: Construction began in March 1948 and was completed in October 1950. Embankment closure was started in March 1950 and completed in June 1950. Impoundment in the conservation pool was started in September 1950 and completed in March 1951. The project was completed for full flood control operation in September 1950. Channel improvements (channel clearing along Rock and Polecat Creeks) were started on June 9, 1950, and completed on April 14, 1951. Channel excavation and widening of Rock Creek upstream and downstream from the bridge on Highway 75 was started on May 26, 1952, and completed on September 24, 1952. Channel improvement works were accepted by local interests for operation and maintenance on September 30, 1953.*
Type of Structure: The dam is a rolled earthfill structure 2,920 feet long that rises to a maximum height of 89 feet above the streambed. An access road is provided across the dam.
Spillway & Outlet Works: The spillway is an uncontrolled, unpaved structure having a crest length of 200 feet, and is located in a low natural saddle about 1,000 feet west of the right abutment. Spillway capacity at maximum pool (elevation 802.0) is 53,700 cubic feet per second, including the outlet works which consist of an uncontrolled 8-foot, 3-inch-diameter conduit with drop inlet and stilling basin. Discharge capacity of the conduit is 2,100 cfs at the top of the flood control pool. Three 36-inch gated low-flow pipes with a discharge capacity of 640 cfs at elevation 761.5 and a gated 24-inch-diameter water supply pipe are provided. Channel capacity at and below the dam is 4,000 cfs.
*The channel improvement projects were sponsored by Joint Drainage District No. 1, Tulsa and Creek Counties, Oklahoma. The drainage district was never activated and, subsequently, the channels were never maintained. Through the years, the channels have returned to their natural state and do not provide the designed channel capacities. The channel projects were placed on the Corps of Engineers deficiency list in 1962. The Corps discontinued annual inspections of the channel projects in 1982. Heyburn Dam and Reservoir continue to perform as designed.
Hydrologic Data: The flood of October 24 to November 4, 1974, was the largest by volume with 40,200 acre-feet, which is equivalent to 6.13 inches of runoff. The maximum peak inflow to the lake was 35,600 cubic feet per second on June 25, 1958.