Army Corps releases inspection rating for Walnut Creek levee systems

Published Nov. 25, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Inspections by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District have shown a need for Contra Costa County to address important maintenance issues of the levee system along sections of Walnut Creek near Concord and Pacheco.

The Sacramento District conducted periodic inspections of the Walnut Creek levees near Clayton Valley Drain and Grayson Creek during January 2013.

The inspections resulted in a maintenance rating of unacceptable. The most serious deficiencies indentified throughout the systems were encroachments, animal control and erosion. Unacceptable vegetation was also noted during inspections but did not result in an overall unacceptable inspection rating.

“Levee inspections are all about making sure that a levee can reliably do what we expect it to,” said Ryan Larson, Sacramento District levee safety program manager. “Our findings help the agencies that own and maintain these levees prioritize levee fixes—and help the public understand their flood risk and make informed decisions about protecting their property.”

Representatives of Contra Costa County Flood Control & Water Conservation District — who maintain the levee systems — received a draft report of the findings for review and comment in March 2014. The final report was signed in October 2014.

Army Corps inspection of the levee systems is not related to the ongoing Lower Walnut Creek restoration project, but are a responsibility under the Corps’ levee rehabilitation program to ensure compliance with federal maintenance standards. Reaches of levee recently removed from federal authority by the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 are not included in these levee ratings.

Systems rated unacceptable are ineligible for federal aid in repairing any flood or storm damage to the levees until the deficiencies are corrected. Inspection results are provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but do not necessarily affect determinations of eligibility for the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Corps will continue to provide flood fighting assistance for the levee systems, regardless of their status.

Bob Kidd

Release no. 14-080