Dam Safety Program

EBMUD relies on dams to store much of the water it supplies to customers. EBMUD manages 26 dams. Our main water supply comes from Pardee Reservoir, which is located in the Mokelumne River watershed in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Downstream of Pardee is Camanche Reservoir, which stores water for flood control and for downstream users. In the East Bay, there are five local water supply reservoirs and 19 open-cut reservoirs that hold treated water. The dams range from 15 feet to 45 feet tall and were built from the late 1800s through the late 1960s.

Update on dam safety 

Latest dam assessment confirms EBMUD dams are reliable

In September 2017, the State of California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) released a new classification and assessment of dams statewide. Nearly all of EBMUD’s jurisdictional dams – 21 in total – were assessed the highest rating of “satisfactory”.

One dam – Lafayette Dam, built in 1927 – was assessed a “fair” rating. A “fair” rating means the dam can be operated safely in current conditions, but could be imperiled in rare events like earthquakes or hydrological conditions. Learn more about actions to step up dam safety.

About EBMUD's Dam Safety Program 

EBMUD has a comprehensive Dam Safety Program. Engineers monitor dams using instruments, monthly visual inspections and periodic dam safety reviews to prevent loss of life, personal injury and property damage from the failure of dams. The safety of each dam is reevaluated with advances in geotechnical, structural and earthquake engineering and also if there is evidence of seepage or ongoing ground movement. Most of these dams are under the jurisdiction of the California Division of Safety of Dams. Pardee and Camanche Dams are also under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because they produce hydropower. These regulatory agencies perform independent annual dam inspections.

Information about dam replacement projects:

Over time, EBMUD plans to replace some of its local dammed reservoirs with water tanks. Studies verify that smaller tanks provide reduced maintenance costs, better water quality and greater post-earthquake reliability.

39th Avenue Reservoir - Oakland
South Reservoir - Castro Valley
Summit Reservoir - Berkeley/Kensington

Information about seismic work on dams EBMUD plans to keep:

Chabot Dam - Oakland
San Pablo Dam - El Sobrante/Orinda

Contact Information

Community Affairs
Email: community@ebmud.com
Phone: 510-287-0151

Contractors: For bid opportunities on EBMUD projects, see Business center.