Sheep Mountain Ranch Water Storage

Huerfano County, Colorado

Huerfano County Water Conservancy District (HCWCD) has been a client of TZA Water Engineers since the 1970s. In 2016, TZA was commissioned to evaluate alternative locations for a reservoir to store and release augmentation water developed by the HCWCD Huerfano River Regional Augmentation Plan. The HCWCD Board selected Sheep Mountain Ranch as the preferred location for the water storage facility. TZA designed a reservoir, diversion, and release facility at Sheep Mountain Ranch. 

Win-win situation! HCWCD was able to save money and resources excavating the reservoir through a partnership with the County Road and Bridge Department. It turns out the reservoir site was predominantly sand and gravel – great for roadbase. TZA developed and submitted a successful application for excavation from the Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety and has overseen site preparations.

The HCWCD contracted with TZA to complete a 48 acre-foot reservoir located about 1,800 feet from the river, as well as a water intake and release structure at the river. A diversion dam, intake structure, pump station, and pipeline were designed for filling the reservoir. For cost savings, the facility was designed to use the same pipeline for releases from the reservoir back to the river when augmentation of the river flow is needed.

The county will have two years to finish excavation. In the meantime, TZA will oversee construction of the river intake and release facility and pipeline to the reservoir site. Once the County has completed excavation, TZA will oversee construction of the reservoir embankment and liner.