Oakland, February 28, 2020
Statement on EBMUD dam safety
EBMUD routinely upgrades and improves its East Bay and Sierra foothills dams to ensure they are safe.
EBMUD’s dams have been evaluated and found to be safe by regulatory agencies, which include the California Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). EBMUD relies on dams to store much of the water it supplies to customers. We are proud of EBMUD’s comprehensive Dam Safety Program, and we regularly monitor dams and their spillways using instruments, monthly visual inspections, and periodic dam safety reviews to protect the public, prevent personal injury, and prevent property damage from dam failures. Regulatory agencies also perform independent annual dam inspections.
As part of ongoing efforts to ensure dam safety, EBMUD routinely upgrades and improves its East Bay and Sierra foothills dams to ensure they are safe. EBMUD completed seismic upgrades to San Pablo Dam in 2010, to Chabot Dam and tower in 2017, and Upper San Leandro Reservoir outlet tower in 2018 at a cost of $98 million. Additional studies and evaluations are underway in consultation with DSOD and the FERC. Inundation maps for EBMUD’s Lafayette and Chabot reservoirs are publicly available on DSOD’s website. Because the dams are safe, failure is not anticipated. However, the maps provide information about a hypothetical failure of a dam or its related structures, such as a spillway or outlet, to assist in emergency preparedness and planning. EBMUD has an existing Emergency Action Plan for all of its dams and is currently in the process of updating flood maps, and will be submitting them to the state for review and approval on an ongoing basis. The Sierra foothills dams, the largest of the EBMUD’s dams, have annual drills and exercises of the emergency plans which meet FERC’s requirements.
Learn more about EBMUD’s dam safety program at www.ebmud.com/damsafety