Seismic Study Allows South Bay Dam To Hold More Water

MORGAN HILL (KCBS) — Despite record rainfall this year, the Anderson Reservoir near Morgan Hill has been forced to release thousands of gallons of water because the dam is an earthquake hazard. But according to a seismic safety study released this week, a recommendation has been made to increase the capacity from 57 to 68 percent, or about 10,000 acre feet of water.

That retrofit, which would be completed by 2018, will cost an estimated $110 million; money that still has to be raised by the water district.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

AMAC Geomatrix Inc. was the firm hired in 2009 by the Santa Clara Valley Water District and conducted the study.

Despite the seismic study, Marty Grimes, spokesman for the Santa Clara Valley Water District said the dam is still an earthquake hazard and a slump in a major earthquake could result in catastrophic flooding.

“We still know that the dam does have a serious seismic issue. Until the dam is retrofitted, we are going to keep the storage level lower,” he said.

Earlier this year, Morgan Hill residents watched wide-eyed as millions of gallons of water were released from the Anderson Reservoir, some even posted videos on YouTube.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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