Sepulveda Dam was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District and completed in December of 1941. Sepulveda Dam was constructed to provide flood protection after the Los Angeles Flood of 1938. Together with Hansen and Lopez, Sepulveda Dam is vital for flood risk management of portions of the San Fernando Valley and areas contiguous to the Los Angeles River.
The primary purpose of the dam and reservoir is flood risk management, but the project is also authorized for recreation. The Corps acquired a total of 2,131.9 acres in fee for construction, operations, and maintenance of the Dam. Of the total acreage, the Corps reserves 313.0 acres exclusively for operation of the Dam, and 1,526.8 acres have been leased to the City of Los Angeles for recreational purposes.
For detailed physical data visit the Reservoir Regulation page. Additional information on Sepulveda Dam and Reservoir can be found in the Sepulveda Dam Basin Master Plan.
Keep yourself safe when visiting the many public facilities in the reservoir by being aware if the potential for storms is being forecast. The Reservoir is designed to hold back large quantities of water and can fill very quickly. Check the local weather forecast before enjoying the many recreational opportunities in and around the reservoir.
The Corps evaluates environmental effects of all actions taken at the Dam and in the Reservoir. Biological surveys are conducted in the Reservoir throughout the year by the Corps and the Corps partner agencies.
Many wildlife species are found within the Reservoir. The open water areas found in the Reservoir attract waterfowl and shorebirds such great egrets (Ardea alba) and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus). Riparian and upland habitats host a diversity of passerine species such as Brewer’s blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) and California towhee (Melozone crissalis). Only two amphibians are common, including the California toad and Pacific tree frog. Dry upland areas host common lizard and snake species.
Native vegetation identified in the Reservoir includes Fremont cottonwood, Sandbar willow, Mulefat, Coast live oak, California buckwheat, and coyote brush.
The Corps engages in routine maintenance activities within the operational areas of the Reservoir year round to maintain the operational capacity of the project. As congressionally appropriated funding allows, the Corps works to upgrade aging structures and systems. Annual maintenance activities at US Army Corps of Engineers operated dams include grading of access roads, vegetation removal, and an annual safety inspection. In addition, the control house, gates, and all mechanical and electrical equipment is checked at each dam to make sure that it is functioning in accordance with the Dam Operations Manual. Graffiti removal, clearing of debris and sediment, and additional repairs are performed to maintain the facility.
Review Upcoming Proposed Actions
To review public notices on our upcoming proposed maintenance activities please visit the Public Notice postings page or click the “Public Notice” link found in the navigational side bar.
Questions, Concerns, Comments?
Let us know by clicking the “Contact” button in the navigation bar and choose Operations Division as the recipient.
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