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Santa Clara County recreation areas around Anderson Dam and Reservoir set to close Oct. 1, 2020

September 21, 2020
Anderson Dam and Reservoir

Starting Oct. 1, Valley Water will begin draining Anderson Reservoir to the lowest level using the existing outlet in response to an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reduce the risk to the public should Anderson Dam fail during a major earthquake.

Draining the reservoir is the first in a series of activities aimed at making the dam earthquake safe. Currently, if a catastrophic failure of Anderson Dam were to happen during the rainy season when the reservoir is full, an area extending more than 30 miles north to San Francisco Bay and 40 miles south to Monterey Bay could see disastrous flooding.

To keep the public safe during construction, Valley Water is closing many recreation areas around Anderson Dam and Reservoir for several years, until the dam is entirely replaced with a new dam. Consequently, starting Oct. 1, 2020, the following recreation areas will be closed:

  • Toyon Group Picnic and Parking Areas; Serpentine Trail; Dam Crest
  • Woodchoppers Flat
  • Anderson Lake Park’s boating and fishing, boat and vehicle parking areas, and boat ramp; Coyote Road from the toe of the dam to the boat and vehicle parking areas; and Lakeview Trail is closed from the Anderson Launch Ramp parking lot trailhead to the westernmost junction with the Rancho Laguna Seca Trail.
  • Fishing will be closed for the entire reservoir shoreline

The Live Oak Picnic Area will remain open to the public and can be accessed from Cochrane Road.

For project updates and to learn more about the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project:

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.