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Miramar Reservoir celebrates 60th Birthday during COVID-19

The birthday marked a major milestone of a vital link to the city's Pure Water Program.

SAN DIEGO — Celebrating a birthday during COVID can be a disappointing. In this Zevely Zone, I blew out the candles at Miramar Reservoir where the popular spot is turning sixty years old.  

"They repaved that, they repaved this," said Rose Maynard.  The walker watched Miramar Reservoir grow up every step of the way, but she and so many others totally forgot about this special day. A Birthday Celebration: "It is?" said Rose. 

Credit: Miramar Reservoir

For 60 years, Miramar Reservoir has been an integral part of the City of San Diego's drinking water system and has provided San Diegans with a great recreational area. If reservoirs were children, the City of San Diego would have nine.

Amy Dorman, the Deputy Director of Pure Water Operations says Miramar is the baby of the bunch born in 1960. I asked her, Are we going to sing Happy Birthday to the reservoir?" Amy told me, "We could. Don't ask me to sing though."

Credit: Miramar Reservoir

Miramar Dam and Reservoir were officially dedicated on Sept. 16, 1960, a year after ground was broken for the project. The location previously had been the site of a small reservoir that had served the vast ranch of newspaper publisher Edward W. Scripps.

Miramar is a vital link to San Diego's drinking water, so I know city officials have been party planning for years. Yet, I didn't see a birthday cake. "Not at the moment," said Mark De Alba, the reservoir keeper. Mark says with all of the biking, jogging, and fishing, everyday day is a celebration. I asked him, "You going to sing Happy Birthday?" Mark said, "Maybe."

Credit: Miramar Reservoir

Mark told me to ask Tim Breidenstein, the reservoir's maintenance supervisor. This magical spot is his baby. "Yeah this is the young one for sure," said Tim. 

Remember the city cares for nine reservoirs and the youngest always gets forgotten. I didn't see presents. "I think it's because f COVID we've had to keep the celebration to a minimum," said Tim with a laugh. 

The dam and reservoir were built as part of the second San Diego Aqueduct project. Water flowing south to the reservoir originates from both the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct.

Credit: Miramar Reservoir

For the past six decades, Miramar Reservoir has served millions of San Diegans as part of the City's water system and as a popular recreational area. Now the City plans to use the reservoir as part of its Pure Water system that will provide up to a third of San Diego's water by 2035.

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Now that's what I call independence. "It's younger than me, I'm 68," said Rose Maynard. Drink it up San Diego, Rose says a major milestone deserves a song. So she and other visitors sang Happy Birthday. 

"And many more. Yes, we love this lake," said Rose.  "It feels wonderful it really does.

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Since the mid-1960s, the reservoir has been a popular recreational destination. An estimated 100,000 people visit Miramar each year to enjoy jogging, biking, fishing, boating, picnicking and other activities. For more information about Miramar and other City reservoirs, click here

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