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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Monday February 8th, 2010 :: 12:47 p.m. PST


Discontinuation of Casitas Dam Warning System

Discontinuation of Casitas Dam Warning System

Location: County of Ventura

Date & Time: February 8, 2010 8:00 am

Unit Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services


Testing of the Casitas Dam Warning System will be discontinued, effective immediately. The system was most recently tested on January 13, 2010, when only two of the eleven units reported a successful test. System performance has been degraded by age, lack of maintenance, theft and vandalism. In 2009, following a dam failure exercise, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services implemented an emergency notification system using Reverse 911. Officials and residents can now receive a telephonic emergency message alerting of a dam failure. The City of Ventura has implemented Code Red, a similar telenotification system. Evacuation routes and other information can be viewed on the Sheriff’s OES Web Site: .

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) installed the system in 1999 during the seismic retrofit of Casitas Dam. The system was never intended to be a permanent part of the local alert and warning system. It was intended to serve only during the construction period. Control points for the system were installed at the USBR Construction Office, Ventura City Police Dispatch, and Ventura County Sheriff’s Dispatch. Upon completion of the project, the USBR abandoned the system in place. The control points at the USBR Construction Office and Ventura Police Department were disconnected and stored. Sheriff’s OES continued to perform the quarterly tests due to public demand by residents.

In 2004, after several incidents of theft and vandalism, an estimate to repair the system was solicited. The Bureau of Reclamation, City of Ventura, Casitas Municipal Water District and the County were asked to support the repair of the system, however all declined to participate. In 2007, Sheriff’s OES began the process of requesting approval to dismantle the system. Input and agreement was sought from the District, City and County to dismantle the system. The County Disaster Council approved removal of the system at their meeting September 5, 2008. In late 2009, Sheriff’s OES received final written confirmation from the Bureau of Reclamation that the system was no longer required, or supported by them.

Sheriff’s OES will be attempting to solicit interested parties to remove the system components at no cost to the County.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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