Inflatable Dam in California Vandalized


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California inflatable dam vandalismPolice are investigating an act of vandalism involving an inflatable dam in Fremont, California committed on the morning of May 21. The dam on the Alameda Creek was destroyed, allowing 50 million gallons of water to be released into the San Francisco Bay. That is enough water to supply 500 families for a year.

The dam was designed to divert water to the Quarry Lakes, which are located nearby. The water normally settled and replenished groundwater in the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin.

The inflatable dam was constructed with thick, heavy-duty rubber. The vandal or vandals gained access to a restricted area early Thursday. Police and officials with the Alameda County Water District believe whoever vandalized the inflatable dam acted with deliberate and malicious intent. It will cost $3 million to replace the dam.

Crime scene investigators from the Fremont Police Department were at the site of the destroyed inflatable dam on Friday to gather evidence. They are not saying publicly what evidence they have recovered because they do not want to compromise the investigation. The Alameda County Water District is providing information and assisting with the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

The loss of water would be significant under any circumstances, but it is even more serious since the area is in the midst of drought conditions. However, water authorities do not believe the loss of the 50 million gallons of water will have a long-term effect on the ability to supply water to the 81,000 homes and businesses in Fremont, Newark, and Union City.

The inflatable dam was installed in 1971. Due to its age, the district was already working on building a replacement. It also has a second dam on the creek that can expand and keep water from going downstream or deflate to allow storm run-off to flow freely.

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