History

water pipe on horse-drawn carriage

The East Bay Municipal Utility District has a proud history of providing high-quality drinking water for 1.3 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The District's award-winning wastewater treatment protects San Francisco Bay and serves 650,000 customers. EBMUD is a public utility formed in 1923 under California's Municipal Utility District Act.

To learn more about the detailed history of EBMUD, you can purchase a copy of Its Name was M.U.D. - A Story of Water.

 

 

 

Timeline of Major Milestones
1852 Contra Costa Village, with a population approaching 2,000 is incorporated as the City of Oakland.
1870 Population of 15,000 served by several private water companies, but there is a lack of water storage. Anthony Chabot completes San Leandro Reservoir later to be renamed after him.
1890 Population increases to 47,000. A filter plant at San Leandro Reservoir begins operation.
1910 Population swells to 150,000 with more than 50,000 of the 100,000-plus refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake settling in the East Bay.
1919 San Pablo Reservoir completed by the East Bay Water Company (Inc. 1916).
1921 MUD Act adopted by the State of California.
1923 EBMUD is organized. (May 22, 1923)
1924 EBMUD acquires Pardee water rights to the Mokelumne River.
1926 Upper San Leandro Reservoir completed by the East Bay Water Co.
1928 Lafayette Reservoir completed.
1929 Pardee Dam, highest in the world at the time, and the Mokelumne aqueduct are completed. The first water deliveries from the Sierra Mountains to the East Bay occur June 23, 1929.
1930 Population of 460,000 served at 35 million gallons per day (MGD). Pardee Reservoir filled for the first time.
1936 EBMUD sells 2,162 acres of watershed land to the East Bay Regional Park District for $656,544. (Tilden Park, Roundtop and Lake Temescal)
1940 Population of 519,000 served at 44 MGD.
1944 Election held authorizing EBMUD to be a regional wastewater treatment agency (Special District One).
1949 Second Mokelumne Aqueduct completed.
EBMUD acquires Camanche water rights to the Mokelumne River.
1950 Population of 851,000 served at 109 MGD.
1951 Wastewater treatment system in operation to protect San Francisco Bay.
1958 Pardee Reservoir opens to public recreation.
1960 Population of 978,000 served at 153 MGD.
1963 Third Mokelumne Aqueduct completed.
1964 Camanche and Briones reservoir dams completed.
1966 Lafayette and Chabot reservoirs open to public for recreation.
1968 EBMUD signs agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation which opens the door for EBMUD to contract with the Bureau for supplemental water supplies.
1970 Population of 1,100,000 served at 220 MGD. Land use master plan adopted to protect watersheds.
1972 Water Management Plan adopted.
1973 San Pablo Reservoir grounds opened for public recreation.
1974 EBMUD customers vote to add fluoride to water.
1977 Driest year on record since Pardee Dam constructed.
1978 Secondary wastewater treatment facilities placed in full operation.
1980 Population of 1.1 million served at 184 MGD.
1983 Wettest year on record since Pardee Dam construction.
Renewable energy production begins at Sierra reservoirs (hydropower)
1984 Minority and Women Business Enterprise Policy adopted.
1985 Wastewater plant begins producing renewable energy.
Urban Water Management Plan 1985 adopted
1986 Wet Weather Program implemented to minimize storm induced sewer overflows.
1988 Camanche Reservoir reaches lowest level since first filled.
1990 Population of 1.2 million served at 192 MGD.
1993 Updated Water Supply Management Program adopted to guide water planning for the future.
Lower Mokelumne River Management Plan adopted to provide reliable supplies and sustain fisheries.
1994 Seismic Improvement Program adopted to strengthen the water system over 10 years.
1995 North Richmond Water Reclamation Plant began recycled water service for industrial cooling.
1996 East Bay Watershed Master Plan adopted to protect biodiversity and water quality on 25,000 acres of EBMUD land.
1998 EBMUD converted from chlorine to chloramine as the water distribution system disinfectant to improve water taste and reduce unwanted disinfection byproducts.
Contract Equity Policy and Program adopted.
Water shortage emergency declared. Camanche water level 10,000 acre-feet, or 2 percent of its capacity
Habitat Conservation Plan established for EBMUD watershed lands.
1999 Wet Weather Program completed.
2000 Population of 1.3 million served at 216 MGD.
2001 $700 million in water system revenue bonds authorized.
2002 Freeport Regional Water Authority established by agreement with Sacramento City and County.
Completed upgrade of Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery.
2003 EBMUD receives patent for safer biosolids (wastewater) processing.
2004 Completed installation of 11-mile Southern Loop emergency pipeline.
Mokelumne Aqueduct flooded due to Jones Tract levee break.
2005 EBMUD named to EPA Top 25 Green Power Partners list.
EBMUD wins Platinum Award for five years of perfect compliance with wastewater discharge standards.

2006
EBMUD's Biosolids Management Program is certified by the National Biosolids Partnership for excellence in biosolids management practices.
Freeport Regional Water Project broke ground in cooperation with Sacramento County.
2007 Claremont Tunnel seismic retrofit completed.
Water shortage declared and voluntary water conservation program initiated.
2008 Water shortage emergency declared with mandatory water conservation.
Tertiary-treated recycled water supplied to EBMUD Administration Building and Oakland irrigation customers.
Mokelumne Watershed Master Plan adopted.
2009 Approved EIR for Water Supply Management Program 2040.
2010 Declared water shortage emergency ends, conservation still encouraged.
Population of 1.3 million served at 174 MGD.
Dry year supplies for the East Bay become available from the Sacramento River.
San Pablo Dam upgrade completed.
Safe Harbor Agreement between EBMUD and U.S. Fish and Wildlife signed, covering 28,000 acres of EBMUD land in the Mokelumne watershed.
Richmond Advanced Recycled Expansion (RARE) facility dedicated, increasing recycled water use by 3.5 MGD.
2011 National law adopted to get lead out of drinking-water plumbing based EBMUD-sponsored state law.
Facility tests completed from Freeport Regional Water Facility to the East Bay.

 

 

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