Corps approves full water storage capacity at Success Dam

Published April 14, 2014
A view of the dam and waters of Lake Success.

A view of the dam and waters of Lake Success.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District approved April 11 raising the operating restriction of the reservoir behind Success Dam to the maximum authorized storage capacity of 82,291 acre-feet, or a storage elevation of 652.5 feet. Ultimately, this could mean more water for local users during high-water months.

“Older dams like Success still have safety concerns and need to be continually inspected and monitored,” said Corps’ project manager, Glen Reed. “But we are confident based on the initial results of our risk assessment, that we can allow more water in the lake without additional risk to the public.”

In late 2006, the Corps began limiting the amount of water stored in Success Lake to minimize flood risk to the public while studying safety concerns at the dam. Initial study results showed that risk associated with seismic activity and seepage is significantly lower than was earlier indicated. The Corps temporarily relaxed the pool restriction to allow more water into the reservoir in 2009, and further relaxed the restriction in 2012.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a baseline risk assessment for Success Dam - a comprehensive analysis of all the dam’s safety risks - that is scheduled to be completed in summer 2014. When that is approved, the Corps will determine if any fixes are necessary for Success Dam.

Success Dam is located on the Tule River, about five miles east and upstream of the town of Porterville. The dam and reservoir were authorized as part of the Tule River Project under the Flood Control Act of 1944 and construction was completed in 1961. The reservoir provides flood risk management, water storage and recreation benefits to the local area.

For more information on the Success Dam Safety Modification Study visit:



John Prettyman

Release no. 14-018