The Sweetwater Authority Board voted to reserve more than $8 million to fund an improvement project for the Sweetwater Dam.
The action, taken at a Wednesday Board meeting, came weeks after David Gutierrez, Chief of the State of California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD), gave a presentation at a September 28 board meeting highlighting unsafe features of the dam.
During the presentation Gutierrez said that the dam may be unsafe under certain hydraulic conditions and that the DSOD could restrict the Sweetwater Reservoir’s storage capacity if improvements were not made.
Required improvements to the dam include adding anti-erosion walls and new concrete armored surfaces to the sides of the dam. In addition, the height of the South Dike, the structure that helps contain the water on the south side of the reservoir, will be elevated.
Approval of project designs and an environmental review, which carry an estimated cost of $300,000, make up the first phase of the project. Construction is scheduled to begin during the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
The project is expected to be completed by December 2018.