Santa Clara

Anderson Reservoir 99 Percent Full, On Verge of Spilling Over

After seeing a spillway nightmare unfold near Oroville, some people who live and work in the shadow of the Anderson Reservoir in Morgan Hill are now wondering if the dam can hold.

The Anderson Reservoir is 99 percent full and is on the verge of spilling over onto a spillway that has not been used in years.

"If water from the spillway exceeds the capacity of the creeks, we could have flooding," said Heh-Mong Desai, a dam safety program manager with the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

The district has instruments within the dams to monitor for problems. In addition, once a year a team of eight people inspect all 14 dams in the South Bay.

"We have annual inspections for all these dams," Desai said. "And also when we do informal inspections when we maintain them, we look for any problems we need to fix."

The district also makes additional inspections after heavy rains, Desai said.

Still, many of the district's dams were built in the 1950s, and four of them (Anderson, Almaden, Calero and Guadalupe) have seismic stability issues.

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