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Town Square

Stanford officials look to solve Searsville dilemma

Original post made on Jan 17, 2013

Stanford University officials are facing a mountain of decisions regarding what to do with Searsville Reservoir, which is slowly filling up with silt, in addition to dealing with a federal investigation for possible violations of the Endangered Species Act.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 17, 2013, 9:51 AM

Comments

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Posted by Jeffrey J Hoover
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

Any word on whether Acterra or Mid-Pennisula OpenSpace has any input or expertise to lend?


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Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:30 am

I did spend many a summer at Searsville Lake, earned my Girl Scout swimming badges there and lived within hiking distance on Family Farm Rd. for a few years. A beautiful place.

Oregon is removing dams to let fish spawn again. No one ever talks about the town of Searsville that stood pretty much where the lake is. So, a town was moved and the normal flow of a creek was stopped so that San Francisco could have water, and now other species rely on the man-made result. What to do? I say remove the dam and let things go back to "normal".


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Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

Re "Remove the Dam" -- not a decision to be entered into lightly. Possible increased risk of flooding downstream. Also, removing the silt is a huge issue. I understand we are talking about a steady stream of big trucks carting away the silt, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for at least a year -- and where will they dump it?


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Posted by hyperbole
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm

"I understand we are talking about a steady stream of big trucks "

based on what report?

I see the "millions of tons" estimate, but a statement about a 24x7 operation seems somewhat hyperbolic. Spreading fear about a stream of trucks at 3am seems so silly....


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Posted by Matt Stoecker
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Thanks Sue for writing the article and raising the issue.

Jeff- Acterra is a signatory group on our Beyond Searsville Dam coalition and some folks there are involved with Jasper Ridge and the Searsville Study community group process.

Howard- We agree that dam removal should not be entered into lightly and while we advocate studying this options, along with all others, we would not support a project that compromised the safety of downstream communities. We have consistently advocated for, and offered funding to carryout, a detailed alternatives analysis in order to make the most informed decision. We look forward to working with impacted communities on a preferred option that best meets everyone's needs.

Sincerely,
Matt Stoecker
Director
Beyond Searsville Dam


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm

"When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade"
Is there an opportunity here that, while not solving all the problems identified, goes a long way toward mitigating them.

Perhaps the silt should be seen as a resource to be recovered and utilized over the long term rather than as a problem to be gotten rid of all at once. Silt is the type of soil that ever gardener wants, especially in the towns along the bay where clay is the more common soil type. If the silt were dredged and made available through Lyngso and other garden centers, I expect that we would come to see it as a valuable resource to be utilized rather than the "millions of tons of silt" that need disposing.
Removing it at a rate of 5% to 10% per year would allow Searsville Lake to eventually return to health, continuing to provide flood control for the communities below, water for Stanford's irrigation and, perhaps, recreational & educational opportunities for future generations.
Adding a fish ladder to the dam would be the crowning touch as steelhead could once again access the spawning beds upstream from the lake.


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Posted by accelerate
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

The problem of the dam has been known for years, but apparently very little progress is being made. The lake is filling up with silt, so they have to do something. Hopefully, the school is devoting enough resources to this project to figure out the best solution well before the situation becomes an emergency.


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Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Steve - I like your ideas...

If dredging Searsville will keep the downstream bridges from flooding in three towns, thus eliminating the need for costly flood insurance and bridge replacements, Stanford should do the right thing and let it happen.


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Posted by curious
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

@stretch: Where did Searsville get moved to? When was this?


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Posted by fred
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Web Link


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Posted by Alice Smith
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

My children and I swam in Searsville lake probably 40 years ago. We would have a day out with friends.

Jaspar Ridge research is important to the understanding of a fragile ecosystem. I know that some form of protection for the rainy season (25 -50 or 100 year heavy rains) is needed now and Stanford's ability to alleviate the downstream impact is a critical factor to the planning for flooding. I don't know if the dam should be desilted or decommissioned but will follow the discussions with the SCC Water District, the Joint Powers Authority and Stanford with interest. Thanks to Fred for tine above to the SEarsville Wikilink. Very interesting.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm

@Crescent Park Mom & Steve - Maybe Matt Stoecker can adress this directly, but looking at his group's website, they dont want to dredge and build a fish ladder, they want to remove the dam, which absolutely would make the san francisquito creek flooding problem worse.


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Posted by Matt Stoecker
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Mr. Recycle-

We do support dam removal or notching most of the dam, but only in a manner and with the implementation of other project components that do not elevate the flood risk to downstream communities. We actually support looking at dam removal as part of a larger watershed scale project to improve flood protection downstream and upstream of the dam.

I've actively worked on projects within the watershed since 1998 and since then have advocated for the Highway 101 to Bay creek expansion project starting this summer, the Highway 101 bridge expansion under study, and replacement of all undersized bridges on San Francisquito Creek to reduce flooding downstream. I continue to support these projects and advocate for additional protective measures that also benefit the health of the creek.

Searsville Dam and operations currently do not have any flood control function as documented by numerous recent reports investigating the question. Much of this is due to the fact that the reservoir is full when peak flow events occur, it is almost filled in with sediment, and it it relatively small. The dam does however currently contribute to flooding issue upstream where sediment is backing up tributary streams adjacent to residences. Dam removal options have not yet been studied at Searsville and there is no evidence that removal options would make the flooding problem worse.

We believe that dam removal has the potential to restore historic wetlands and floodplain areas submerged by the reservoir which could reduce flooding downstream as these areas absorb flood flows. The current study is expected to assess this potential. As with other dam removal projects, like on the Elwha River in Washington State and Matilja Dam in Southern California, such a project can be implemented with expanded and revived floodplains and wetlands, downstream bridge replacement, high flow by-pass structures, and improved levees.

We look forward to the study findings and potential for significant flood protection benefits with one or more of the Searsville alternatives being investigated.

Sincerely,
Matt


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Matt-

In fairness, if one's priority was reducing flooding, and not trout, wouldn't it make more sense to just dredge out the sediment?


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Posted by PVrez
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

@Mr.Recycle

The fact is that the trout here are an Endangered Species so legally they need to be a priority.

However, if one's priority was reducing flooding, would dredging out the sediment be the safest, most effective and sustainable option? What if the dam fails? Do you propose it is dredged regularly to keep it free of sediment? Who would pay for it?


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Posted by hyperbole
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

Is the Wiki page accurate about this?

"Searsville Dam does not provide potable water, flood control, or hydropower"

If it's 90% filled with silt, then original flood control capability , if any, has been severely marginalized anyway.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

Matt -
Thanks for taking time to write this thoughtful response. There are several things you said however that I question and wonder if you could respond to.
First, you wrote "The dam does however currently contribute to flooding issue upstream where sediment is backing up tributary streams adjacent to residences."
I don't understand how the presence of the dam could have any affect on what happens upstream from the lake. Streams coming off the mountain have no knowledge of what's downstream so how does the dam cause sediments to accumulate upstream.
Second, you write "Dam removal options have not yet been studied at Searsville and there is no evidence that removal options would make the flooding problem worse."
If removal options haven't been studied, it seems to me there is no evidence one way or the other regarding its effect on flooding. So you're statement the there is no evidence that removal would make flooding problems worse is nothing more than wishful thinking on your part.
Instead, logic would suggest just the opposite to me. Currently, the reservoir behind the dam is nearly full so it provides little to no flood control capability. We can both agree on that. However, removing the dam entirely would remove what little flood control there is and therefore only increase the likelihood of flooding or, at best, have no effect on flooding potential.
While I look forward to the study of this issue being published, I'm skeptical that we can look to the Elwha River dam for guidance. The Elwha River below the dam flows just 4 miles through National Park before entering directly into the Straits of Juan de Fuca - no population to speak off along this entire length. In contrast, the stream below Searsville dam winds for 12 miles through some of the most developed and expensive real estate on the west coast before emptying into the bay. I don't know how many residents are going to want "high flow by-pass structures, and improved levees" built in their neighborhoods to solve a flooding problem that might be better solved by simply dredging the silt from an already existing dam.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm

@Steve, I had the same question about how sea level rise in the bay could affect flooding upstream in San Francisquito Creek, unless of course the level of high tide rose into those elevations. The explanation I got was that a reduction of the gradient near the end of a waterway will slow the flow there, and this added resistance can slow the flow further upstream than one might imagine. Water coming off the mountain may have no knowledge of the water level in the reservoir, but water sees the water immediately in front of it. If someone far ahead is not getting out of the way fast enough, it can slow down the whole line. Explanations beyond this devolve into boundary conditions, Reynolds numbers, and the Navier-Stokes equation.

Another effect of the dam is that it keeps about 2000 feet of streambed perpetually saturated over a width of several hundred feet. Water flowing into the upstream end very quickly makes its presence known at the downstream end. Yes, if the dam was not at capacity there would be some storage available to slow the flow downstream, but it's not clear that this amount of storage would exceed what unsaturated ground would absorb or otherwise add resistance to the flow.

Good questions. Either we can just try things that seem logical and see what happens, then try something else, or we can wait for what the studies suggest, and then try something else.

I still find this watershed map fascinating -- Web Link


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Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Antigravity
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

The upstream landowners' silt has filled in the reservoir. They should be liable for removing the silt and restoring it to it's original site with appropriate post-fill habitat restoration and erosion mitigation. This can be done for pennies a pound of silt, so cost should not be the issue.


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Posted by clc
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Searsville Dam does have a drain valve at the bottom of it. It should be opened and allow the lake to drain completely. At the same time Stanford could run their pumps to fill Felt Lake. Don't worry about silting up the lower creek, steelhead, or redlegged ,frogs, birds, or bats. Let the lake clean itself out, see what kind of mess is down there. The valve could be closed at times for flood control. Reopened again for more clean out. The fish and frogs will continue to hang in there until the best solution is figured out. Doing nothing in the name of further studies is getting to be a lame way out Stanford.


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Posted by Eroding confidence in Stanford stewardship
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Take a walk on Oak Creek Drive behind the apts and carefully observe the massive collapse of the creek bank in key areas from the December storms
This was aptly forecast in the Stanford financed Sand Hill road widening EIR Hydrology section as a consequence of the the new widened bridges at Sand Hill/Oak Ave, Junipero Serra and Alpine at Webb Ranch
The accelerated flow from these new smooth walled bridges, as opposed to previous "dams" of the original bridges, which previously tended to overflow into the golf course,
is cause for heightened concern
Plus the Natural HazardvDisclosure Statement Disclosures required by state law for all property sales downstream of Sand Hill bridge ALL state that Flooding will occur in Menlo Park and Palo Alto neighborhoods as a result of "Searsville Dam Failure Inundation"
So a lot more study and analysis together with first hand accounts of residents along the creek need to be assessed before anything is done about Searsville Dam and lake
We got lucky ladt month due to low tides during the heaviest runoffs.
Climate change gurus attest to more extreme events in this current global warming cycle


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Posted by Sassy Girl
a resident of Woodside
on Oct 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm

It seems a waste of time and resources to analyze how removing the dam would affect the land down-stream. It's really a no brainer to just dreg the silt out, sell the silt to soil companies or farmers, hire engineers to design a fish latter to add to the dam so that steelhead can swim upstream to spawn and design a system that can filter the silt out of the dam as maintenance. The silt could be siphoned into containers that can then be sold to farmers or soil companies. This way there is the least amount of impact on the environment, land and animals. Also this will create more fish which can attract more fisherman and tourist to come check out the fish latter for which they could charge a small fee that will help pay for the dam repairs and maintenance. DUHHH!!!


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Posted by Zaxxon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I am just so glad to be moving away from this damnable place! Ugly buildings, high density, traffic, flooding, being controlled by Stanford...enough is enough!


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Posted by Paul Muto
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Dredging Lake leaving wall at dam for support ,and putting in a fish ladder ,, will keep lake and preserve the endangered steelehead ,, still the habitat up the head waters will need restoration or repair ,, I suggest you look toward the Tuolumne River and there efforts to restore gravel beds ,, it will be costly ,, but the silt will be a great source for landscape supplies


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 7, 2014 at 12:21 am

Dredging the lake is a great idea. Stanford can sell the silt as a money raiser to offset the cost of the dredging. The silt will be especially valuable since it will not contain any oil from boats or other contaminants. Stanford can use the silt in it's newer construction projects for the landscaping.

The dam is okay as it creates a holding pool for water retention. Other holding pools can also be created in steps going down the hill to help maintain the creek walls from high surges of water.

Lakes in Golden Gate Park are also being updated, cleaned, dredged, etc. That is an on-going activity to provide maintenance of the property.

There is a meeting on this topic 10 June at 6:00 PM - Santa Clara Water District Headquarters, 3700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA 95118. Federal funding is being provided to update the creek for flood control improvements.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 7, 2014 at 12:31 am

I can see there is still a lot of "study" in process here. Try managing this as a project with a schedule - the schedule being driven by El Nino.

Time is running out to a least get the dredging going that has to be done in any approach you try. The more you delay the more risk you will create by pushing this into the rainy season at which time the ability to move equipment in that area will be limited.

Palo Alto can help out here - there is a lot of large equipment over at the baylands pushing earth around and loading it on trucks.

Do the obvious now while you can - get your business school involved in this project so it can be a model for schedule, financial, and facilities planning. Also risk mitigation factors into this project.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 7, 2014 at 10:45 pm

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a project manager assigned to the SF Creek. They have the government funding to upgrade the creek and bridges in preparation for the upcoming winter(?)rains - assume El Nino.
Since they are the local government arm of FEMA activities in the valley I am assuming that they are in charge of this operation. I think they have the experts in water control issues since they are in charge of all of the listed FEMA Flood identified rivers and streams in the valley.

There appears to be all kinds of opinions noted above but I suspect that they are on call now to move out since the heavy lifting has to occur before it floods - and that is coming up very quickly. People can "study" forever - which it appears that is what has happened - but specific actions need to happen now. It is important to dredge the lake so it becomes a holding pool. It is important to develop a long term maintenance plan to keep the lake open and viable. Stay tuned and come to the Monday evening meeting at the SCVWD Headquarters.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm


Where will you dump the mud? it is not acceptable at most sites.However, Zanker landfill will take the mud at $45 a cubic yard plus $95 an hour for trucking.
P.S. The equipment at the baylands is privately owned


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 8, 2014 at 6:49 am

Where will you dump the mud? We have already provided good resolution to that issue. Stanford has a huge amount of property where it can be dried out and bagged. Have you noticed that mud dries out very quickly? Also note that you have to do this when it is not raining. There are companies out there that do this for a living - they will process and bag so fast your head will spin..

Side note - PA is dumping dirt all over the lower baylands and the golf course. Drive down Embarcadero and you will see huge trucks constantly in motion hauling dirt. Those tucks are under contract to PA. SU also has a lot of trucks right now working a project for new housing.
Where to dry and bag dirt is the least of the issues.
The big issue is creating the holding pools and resolve the creek issues to alleviate the run-off which is flooding the cities - people's homes.
The issues have to be assigned a priority based on the timing to the rainy season.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 7:50 am

Most likely the mud from Searsville does not meet the standards set by the city,for the cap of the landfill, or the joint commission in charge of levee construction.


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Posted by Nieghbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 7:54 am

And who is going to pay for all this?


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

Lets do some simple math, according to Wiki the dam has 1.5 million cubic feet of silt. An end dumps' capacity is twenty tons, this is equal to about twelve cubic yards of semi-dry soil . This equals to 125,000 truck loads. to drying facility then again to dump site.This is just the tip of the iceberg.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

Gee neighbor - the mud goes to a site on campus, dries out, and I bagged as it comes in - then goes back out to market. Go to the nursery - how much is good soil going for these days?

How long does it take to dry out in all of the homes that have been affected by the flood? It doesn't - it mildews and rots. Then all of the people have to work with their insurance companies and FEMA to repair the damage. That includes the employees of SU.

So how many people here work for the group that will get additional work as a result of the flood? Mortgage companies, banks, insurance companies, lawyers, home improvement groups, carpeting.

How about ABAG - an ABAG's dream - a way to reposition where people live.

So the flood benefits a large group of people.

And what is in the mud? SU is very protective of it's mud. It has in fact defied common sense to make the dam a viable, living element. A lot of history in that mud? HUMMM.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

"Gee neighbor - the mud goes to a site on campus, dries out, and I bagged as it comes in - then goes back out to market. Go to the nursery - how much is good soil going for these days?"

Good luck with that endeavor!


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Gee neighbor - I have one even better - truck it to Napa Valley - they have a big soil problem - fungus. Also Central Valley has leached out soil. There are a lot of farmers that have soil that is depleted and they have to spend a lot of money putting additives in. Good soil is not cheap.
It is so hot today the mud would be dry out fairly quickly. I know the soil in my garden is drying out very quickly.

And you are still consumed by soil. The rest of the laundry list of financial effects not commented on.

If you read the upper comments you would note that there is federal funding to cover this effort and the overview of the SCVWD. If you are suggesting that they have no resources then you are very wrong.

This whole scenario of angst over the soil suggest a whole lot of people that have no project management skills. All a lot of talk but no ability to complete actions in a fast and efficient manner.

Time to call on Lockheed Martin - guess what - they manage large over sites all over the world. If you want a job done call on the right people. This is such a no-brainer and everyone is wringing their hands over the soil.

What was SU thinking by allowing this to happen? Comments over the soil just make this a worst case for them.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Gee Resident 1, you guys seem to think that all this federal funding is free.
The money has to come from somewhere.

"This whole scenario of angst over the soil suggest a whole lot of people that have no project management skills. All a lot of talk but no ability to complete actions in a fast and efficient manner."

Referring to your comment above, I guess John Arriaga must have zero project management skills. Just ask his staff how hard it is to get rid of dirt. and the hoops they have to go through. Better yet, ask Acterra.

Resident 1, keep shoveling yourself a bigger hole.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Do you pay for flood insurance? Does John? His house is above the flood zone so he probably does not.

You need to think of all the people that are paying flood insurance. You need to think of all of the risk that everyone is taking on if the problems are not resolved on the creek - top to bottom.

I am not at risk because the Adobe Creek has been updated and works well.

SU has contributed to the decline in the viability of the lake. Call in the Nature Conservancy - this is right up their alley - they are experts in this type problem resolution.
Stick to the problem and resolution. I will be there Monday night to see what the SCVWD has to contribute on this matter.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm

If SU picks up The majority of the tab I am all for it.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Well here goes, simple math:
1.5 million cubic yards times $35 a yard for excavation and removal equals $52,500,000. Plus other fees. What are we looking at here. $70,000,000 to $90,000,000. I bet this estimate is low.Anyway this is a drop in the bucket for Stanford.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:50 am

Neighbor - simple math is a part of the basic calculation.
1. In a commercial venture the preparation of the property it is a cost of doing business - you itemize that in your proposal to the customer as part of the total price of the job. If you are building a facility in San Jose for SAMSUNG they understand a deep hole is wanted and desired and it needs to meet specifications. So the cost of preparing the property will reflect all of those costs. They are paying for that.
2. For people who are in the 100 year flood zone they have to purchase flood insurance and are registered with FEMA. The fact that they have flood insurance is a registered requirement and people are paying in to the insurance that cost based on the value of the property.
I have skin in this game despite the fact that the Adobe Creek flood control has been updated so I have low risk. The government is in part paying for any damage due to flooding - but all of the people in the 100 year flood zone are individually paying into the system.
3. Searsville Lake is in the Jasper Ridge Preserve. Since they are studying eco-systems then one would expect that since they have a lake then they have a viable lake in which fish can come and spawn. If the lake is there but inoperable then what are the students learning about basic eco-system management? Stanford should strongly desire that they have a viable eco-system in which many research projects can be conducted.

One assumes that allowing the Searsville Lake to evolve into an agricultural endeavor in which plants are naturally irrigated raises questions on what is being planed there. We had a go-around on that topic in PA which was heavily endorsed by some occupants of Hoover Tower and the Cato Institute. Any attempt to going in that direction will be heavily challenged.
4. The maintenance of property in respect to educational programs is an expense of doing business and is incorporated into the expense report. It also becomes a capital asset as an enhancement to the overall property profile. SU does not lose in proposition - it positively enhances its capital assets and enhances the value of the research value of the property.
5. In the initial government evaluation of the SFC upgrade it specifically requires holding pools at the top of the system - the top being Searsville Lake and the higher property offshoots - a number of creeks. So this requirement can serve a number of purposes but has to be done. The government will partially offset the cost for this and SU can claim the expense in their books. Stanford does not lose in this proposition - it gains valuable assets.
6. The people in the 100 year flood zone benefit individually and as a group by having their risk reduced, along with other down stream enhancements which add value to everyone's properties.


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Posted by Nieghbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm

How much will it cost?


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm

@ Resident 1

Please enlighten all, on what transpired last night at the SCVWD meeting last night.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm

A number of very eloquent people spoke on the SFC and have devoted a lot of time to this topic as part of their jobs and life experiences. They did a good job and the funding will be forthcoming - in a limited fashion - to address the El Camino to baylands portion of the creek. The SCVWD has worked very hard to get the funding and support this effort. All should be commended.

As to the upper portion of the creek there was no discussion on that - only reference to "holding pools" that were nor defined. I think the cities have to work with the funding available then keep on plugging away as more information / funding becomes available. Or an extreme flood occurrence drives the need for reorganization of approach.

As to Searsville lake you can go to the Jasper Ridge site to review their presentation on maintenance options for the lake - dated 2007. There is favorable reference to the gradual reduction of silt vs a one-time massive reduction of silt. That is a very good idea as the gradual reduction can be conducted by students and the silt dried and used as soil enhancement on campus. Note that this is not dirt like you would see dug up for a new construction. It is very classy silt. SU is working to resolve their options. Given the number of MPOSP properties directly in this location there are a lot of requirements for soil enhancement.

All said and done - I am "GO FISH"- they will be so happy to swim up river and there will be many successful studies conducted for those in the bio-science degree disciplines.

The total bay area - more specifically Marin County - spend a lot of time developing and maintaining their water resources. Flood control and good property management are very important topics now. Reestablishing the natural environment for animals, birds and fish along with flood control is a very important endeavor for the total bay area.


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Posted by Keith Cline
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2014 at 11:38 am

I grew up in Daly City and my family used to go for the day to swim. That was about 30-35 years ago. It would be disapointing to see the lake go. I imagine if the dam is removed the majority of the silt would have to be removed or it may go downstream to accumulate somewhere else. Just a thought. I didn't even know there was a problem but I had remembered the name of the lake for some reason yesterday so I Googled Searsville Lake and came across the article. I thank you all for your posts as it is a very important issue and I have really enjoyed the reading.