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March 24, 2010 > Plans move ahead for work on Crystal Springs Dam

Plans move ahead for work on Crystal Springs Dam

Submitted By AP Wire Service

SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Mar 21 - San Francisco utility officials are moving forward with a plan to give a 122-year-old dam a face-lift.

As part of project by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to upgrade its infrastructure, plans to increase the size of Crystal Springs Dam have recently received funding, according to SFPUC officials.

By increasing the height of the dam by 9 feet, making it 302 feet tall, the capacity of the Crystal Springs would be increased by 1.5 billon gallons, officials said.

The dam, completed in 1888, created the Crystal Springs Reservoir. Since the dam was built, the reservoir has provided water to San Francisco and what was once the sparsely populated San Mateo Peninsula.

``There's 2.5 million people in our service area now. The service area of the Spring Valley Water Company was only in the hundreds of thousands. The size of the dam has not (substantially) changed in those 120 years, but the size of the population has gone way up,'' said David Briggs, water supply and treatment manager for the SFPUC.

The work will also include widening a spillway at the top of the dam and adding a newer, larger ``stilling basin.'' The stilling basin catches the water that comes out of the dam and slows the flow before delivering it to San Mateo Creek.

The SFPUC has released a draft environmental impact report on the project, which is expected to close a 600-foot stretch of nearby Skyline Boulevard. Wildlife biologists will also have to remove a colony of threatened California red-legged frogs that have made a home near the dam.

Officials expect to begin work on the project in early 2011.

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