Regular inspections show Canyon Lake Dam meets all safety standards. Recent rains have not compromised the structure’s integrity.
The dam at Canyon Lake is inspected daily by Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and continues to meet all state safety standards.
Recent rain-related issues at Lake Oroville in Northern California has raised awareness of dam safety across the state. Unlike Oroville’s earthen dam, the Railroad Canyon Dam at Canyon Lake is made of reinforced concrete.
“Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District takes all precautions to ensure the integrity of the dam,” General Manager John Vega says. “We understand the significant responsibility of maintaining the dam and work closely with the Division of Dam Safety to ensure the dam is meeting all State requirements.”
Water spills over the dam when the lake level reaches 1381.76 feet above sea level.
In 1996, EVMWD spent more than $9 million to widen and refurbish the dam to withstand a 100-year flood event.
Water that flows into the lake from the surrounding watershed is purified at the Canyon Lake Water Treatment Plant, which typically runs six to eight months of the year. When the plant is operating, as it is now, District staff inspect the dam daily. The structure is monitored weekly when the plant is not operating.
The California Division of Dam Safety conducts annual safety checks on the dam and emergency release valves; the last inspection was performed and passed in December.
EVMWD also submits an annual survey and monitoring report to the state.
EVMWD uses Canyon Lake as a drinking water reservoir. The lake is kept as full as possible to avoid having to buy more expensive, imported water supplies.
EVMWD provides service to more than 142,000 water and wastewater customers in a 96-square-mile area in Western Riverside County.
The District is a sub-agency of the Western Municipal Water District and a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. For more information, visit evmwd.com.