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December 2
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State water officials working on ways to reduce the impact earthquakes have on Castaic Dam are expected to begin the retrofitting process by examining a concrete chute this week.

As part of a statewide effort to reduce seismic and hydrologic risk to State Water Project facilities, the California Department of Water Resources’ Castaic Dam Modernization Program was scheduled to begin last week with an assessment of a stream release structure at Castaic Dam.

Water officials are to assess the integrity of a 60-foot-wide rectangular concrete chute used to pass natural flows from Castaic Lake into Castaic Lagoon.

“DWR continues to move forward in the modernization of SWP facilities and will be assessing possible improvements to Castaic Dam to mitigate impacts due to an extreme weather event or earthquake,” Ted Craddock, DWR acting State Water Project deputy director, was quoted as saying in a news release issued Wednesday.

“The primary objective for the Castaic Dam Modernization Program is to identify and make improvements that will ensure public safety and a reliable water supply,” he said in the release.

Castaic Lake and Castaic Dam

Castaic Lagoon, originally a borrow area for construction of the dam, also provides recreation and serves as a recharge basin for downstream groundwater aquifers in northern Los Angeles County. Photo taken May 9, 2014. | Florence Low / California Department of Water Resources.

The Castaic Dam Modernization Program also calls for seismic retrofits to the inlet tower access bridge, evaluation of the spillway to identify and implement necessary improvements, and earthquake analyses on various dam components.

The planned assessment is expected to be completed by 2022, and may require drill rigs and other large machinery.

After it’s done, state water officials are expected to come up with and implement projects that would modernize the dam.

The modernization program is expected to take about 10 years to complete, and could get noisy at times.

Localized noise and increased activity at the site are expected during this period, state officials said.

Depending on the rehabilitation efforts necessary, Castaic Lake drawdowns may occur for short periods of time.

Ensuring continued dam safety, state officials routinely monitor and inspect the dam.

Castaic Lake is a manmade body of water completed in 1974.

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2 Comments

  1. jim says:

    Let’s see…

    CDMP requires designing seismic retrofits for the tower inlet, spillway evaluation and improvements as well as earthquake analyses on “various” dam components.

    On a 45 year old earthen dam. That if it fails will take out at least 50% of the SCV in short order.

    The “assessment” that follows the above is expected to take until 2022.

    And then “state water officials are expected to come up with and implement projects that would modernize the dam.”

    The “plan” developed from the above “is expected to take about 10 years to complete”.

    Hmm. They (state water officials) haven’t yet done the studies, much less determined how, what and how expensive any improvements will be; yet they can predict that the job will be finished sometime in 2032?

    I’ve got some nearby property that I can let the State Water Project have for a decent price – and there is definitely water under those 30 acres!

    NO need to wait 33 years either.

    But they will have to dig a ditch to get it here.

  2. Roger says:

    At least they are shutting our water off like Edison shuts off the power.

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