The Lake Hodges reservoir. Photo courtesy City of San Diego

The city of San Diego may release water from Lake Hodges reservoir into San Dieguito River in coming months if heavy rain raises the water level above the maximum permitted.

For safety reasons, the California Division of Safety of Dams has determined that the water level should not be above 295 feet, which is 20 feet below the spillway elevation. If the water nears that level when rain is forecast, city officials will likely open valves at the dam for a controlled release of some of the water. The released water will enter San Dieguito River and eventually the Pacific Ocean.

City officials will monitor weather forecasts, rainfall and the water level at the reservoir to determine when releases would be necessary. The city will announce via news and social media any planned water release.

Lake Hodges was created with the building of Hodges Dam on San Dieguito Creek in 1918. Operated and maintained by the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department, the reservoir currently serves the San Dieguito Water District and Santa Fe Irrigation District as well as the city of San Diego.

 The city is finalizing plans for improvements to Hodges Dam. The state has determined it is safe, but restricts the water level.