Valley Water senior maintenance worker Sammy Gonzales stands in front of the area below the Anderson Reservoir spillway Jan. 6 where crews were restoring rocky material that was washed out in a 2017 storm.

Valley Water crews were taking advantage of the current spell of dry, sunny weather Jan. 6 by completing some long-needed work at the bottom of Anderson Dam’s spillway.

Work crews were using heavy machinery to restore eroded “riprap,” a mixture of rocky material at the base of the spillway where water falls into Coyote Creek when Anderson Reservoir fills beyond its capacity, explained Valley Water spokesman Matt Keller. The previous riprap washed downstream the last time Anderson Reservoir went over the spillway, during heavy storms in February 2017. The stormwater overflow resulted in significant flooding of Coyote Creek and neighborhoods in San Jose downstream from the reservoir.

The work underway Jan. 6 is a maintenance requirement requested by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, one of the agencies that regulates public dams, Keller explained. The work was unrelated to recent earthquakes or the upcoming seismic retrofit of Anderson Dam.

Valley Water is Santa Clara Valley’s water district, which provides drinking water and flood protection to the county’s 2 million residents.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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