Built in 1927 and upgraded in 1955, the Linden Reservoir had served well but was requiring more caretaking than in the past. John Farley, interim principal engineer at the Riverside (California) Public Utilities Department compared the 61-million-L (16-million-gal) reservoir to an “elderly gentleman.” While it was serviceable and trustworthy, he explained, its roof needed a little more selfsufficiency, especially if it were to survive a major earthquake.
As one of two major waterstorage reservoirs forming the hub of Riverside’s water distribution system, the Linden Reservoir capacity was increased from 45,420 m3 (12 million gal) to 60,560 m3 (16 million gal) in 1955. At the time, a steel roof fashioned from corrugated metal cladding supported by concrete columns and a steel frame was added. Throughout the years, the roof has suffered from significant corrosion and other maintenance challenges.