Built by the People’s Water Company in 1910, the Central Reservoir is currently operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). The reservoir was created from the valley surrounding one of the Sausal Creek tributaries, by hollowing out the watershed and adding an earthen dam.
Landslides due to seepage were a problem as early as 1930. A major slide happened in the 1950s, which led to part of McKillop Road collapsing and eventually to the creation of William D. Wood Park. Smaller, more recent slides have been attributed to nearby Sausal Creek, which flows below the park.