Bradbury Dam (Cachuma Lake)

Field Descriptions

Dam Name: Bradbury
Other Name: CACHUMA
NID ID: CA10136
Longitude: -119.98333
Latitude: 34.58333
State: CA
Distance: 1.00 miles
Owner Name: DOI BR
Owner Type: Federal
Private Dam? No
Dam Type: Earth
Core: Bituminous Concrete (Type)
Foundation: RK
Purposes: Irrigation
Year Completed: 1953
Dam Length: 3350 feet
Dam Height: 279 feet
Structural Height: 279 feet
Hydraulic Height: 200.59 feet
Maximum Discharge: 159500 cu ft/sec
Maximum Storage: 206900 acre-feet
Normal Storage: 172500 acre-feet
Surface Area: 3090 acres
Drainage Area: 417 square miles
Hazard Potential: High
Emergency Action Plan? Yes
Inspection Date: 2011-06-07
Inspection Frequency: 1
State Regulated Dam? No
State Regulating Agency: N/A
Spillway Type: Controlled
Spillway Width: 200 feet
Volume of Dam: 6695000 cubic yards
Federal Funding Agency: CACHUMA
Federal Regulatory Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Federal Inspection Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Federal Operating Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Federal Owner (Agency): Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Other Federal Agencies: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Source Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation

Dam Safety For Boats

A large amount of water can be released from a dam without any warning at any time and by any means. For example, when the demand for electricity is high, the turbines at a dam may be turned on automatically, resulting in a significant increase in the downstream flow of water in only a matter of seconds.

If there's a need to release water through the sluiceways (outlets at the base of the dam), this operation can also create a great swell of discharged water downstream.

During flood operations, any or all spillway gates across the width of a dam can be opened to release upstream flood water that needs to pass to the next downstream reservoir. Upstream or downstream, even the most experienced boater with the strongest motor is no match for this strong flow of water plunging over a spillway of a dam. Even if you're boating far downstream of a spilling dam, recirculating current can pull a powerful boat upstream toward plunging water that could shred any boat.

Some dams equipped with navigation locks create turbulent water as well. When vessels pass through, strong flow is released near the exhaust ports of the wing wall of the lock.

Warning Systems At Dams

To warn reservoir users of potential danger, warning devices are installed at many dams:

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