Stafford Dam Safety Program

(Posted February 8, 2024) Stafford Lake is now full and water started to spill over Stafford Dam as of Sunday February 4, 2024. Recognizing this event, we wanted to inform you of some of the rigorous Stafford Dam safety measures we implement.

The North Marin Water District (NMWD) manages the potential risks associated with Stafford Dam through a robust dam safety program that includes visual observations (including use of 24-hour surveillance cameras); measuring and analyzing groundwater water levels and controlled seepage; semi-annual vegetation and rodent control; annual engineering inspections of the dam including all appurtenances; and annual inspection by the state’s Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) engineers.

In addition to regular periodic inspection, NMWD performs special engineering inspections using its in-house professional engineers, as well as detailed engineering analysis by outside specialists for various purposes. Every 5-years, NMWD’s performs a physical survey of dam crest to monitor settlement and movement and have done this since the dam was raised in 1985.

On January 30, 2024, a DSOD engineer performed the annual inspection of Stafford Dam, including the spillway, outlet pipe and seepage collection system in accordance with the DSOD Inspection Protocols. As part of that inspection, NMWD Operators demonstrated the ability to quickly release water from behind the dam (Stafford Lake) via the 30-inch diameter outlet pipeline.

Check out this video of the water discharging from the valve.