Dam Safety

Yuba Water Agency owns and operates New Bullards Bar Dam, Log Cabin Dam and Our House Dam as part of the Yuba River Development Project, a multipurpose flood risk reduction, water supply, hydroelectric power generation, fish habitat and recreation project on the Yuba River. The agency also maintains Lake Francis Dam.

Recognizing that the agency is the first line of defense against dam failures and safety incidents, Yuba Water invests heavily in a robust dam safety program. The goal of this program is to ensure the agency meets or exceeds the highest dam safety standards and regulatory requirements set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Water Resources’ Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD).

A photo of Yuba Water Agency's concrete Log Cabin DamA photo looking downstream at New Bullards Bar Dam with the Yuba River in the backgroundA photo of Yuba Water Agency's concrete Our House Dam

Maintenance and Inspections

In addition to weekly internal inspections, Yuba Water dams undergo comprehensive external reviews by DSOD and FERC. In DSOD’s most recent comprehensive listing of California’s major dams, Yuba Water dams all received the “satisfactory” rating, which is the highest rating issued by the state. The ratings are based on annual physical inspections and comprehensive re-evaluation studies, as well as technical analyses submitted by the dam owners. Reports from the agency’s federally required 5-year inspection completed in 2020 by an independent consultant found the agency’s dams are adequately maintained and suitable for continued safe and reliable operation.

In addition to ongoing safety upgrades, a planned secondary spillway at New Bullards Bar Dam will further enhance dam safety and significantly reduce flood risk for Yuba and Sutter counties. Read more about the secondary spillway and the agency’s commitment to safety and its dam safety philosophy.

A photo of Chief Dam Safety Engineer Tim Truong giving a presentation to a group about dam safety at