The city of San Diego worries some of its dams “may be nearing the end of their useful service life” and is spending up to $5 million to see how they’re doing.
Last year, city officials hired an engineering firm to do detailed checkups on each of the city’s nine dams. Carlsbad-based GEI Consultants has been working quietly ever since on a study that could take up to five years.
Most city dams are 80 years or older.
Brent Eidson, a spokesman for the city water department, said the study may ultimately find that no significant work is needed on the dams.
Officials already have a few concerns, though. In fall 2014, for instance, the city limited the amount of water it can store in the lake formed by the El Capitan Dam near Alpine, which is the city’s second-largest reservoir.
That’s because officials spotted water seeping out from underneath the dam. Some seepage is normal, but it could also be a sign of problems.