Four options outlined for new reservoir in north Breckenridge |

Four options outlined for new reservoir in north Breckenridge


BRECKENRIDGE – GEI Consultants has outlined four alternatives for a reservoir the town of Breckenridge would like to build on the McCain property it owns immediately north of County Road 3 (Coyne Valley Road).Recent drought years have compelled town officials to look at improving the town’s water supply, especially since the town owns rights to more water than it can now use and store.The first alternative would involve building a 50-foot-tall dam at the north end of the site or excavating a 75-foot-deep pit. Both options would occupy almost all of the parcel and be capable of storing 400 acre feet of water.An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons of water, or the amount of water it takes to cover an acre of land to the depth of one foot. It’s generally enough water to supply a family of four for a year.Building a dam is the most cost-efficient option, the report indicates, but would require other agency involvement. Additionally, a 50-foot-tall dam might not be the aesthetically pleasing option town officials want at the entrance to town.The second alternative would involve a lined or paved pit on the southern half of the McCain parcel. The reservoir could be either shallow, about 11 feet and take up 20 acres, or deep and occupy about 10 acres, leaving the remaining land available for recreational uses. Both, however, would only hold about 200 acre feet of water.The advantages with the shallow reservoir is that less excavation would be needed on the side, its smaller size would give designers more flexibility as to placing the reservoir and it is less expensive than some of the other alternatives.A disadvantage would be the limited amount of water a shallow reservoir could hold.The third alternative would involve digging a 25-foot deep pit over 20 acres to hold about 300 acre feet of water or having a sloped reservoir bottom to hold up to 400 acre feet of water.Building a deep reservoir would require less land, but wouldn’t hold the desired amount of water.The fourth alternative would involve building a 25-foot tall dam, which has many of the same advantages and disadvantages as the first option.Consultants with GEI indicate they prefer the fourth alternative because of the cost, the large storage volume it would provide and the smaller embankment and pit excavation needed.Costs vary widely, the report indicates, because of the array of options available.Building a 50-foot-tall dam would cost about $9.6 million, the report indicates. But throw in the costs for excavating, and that price could jump as high as $18.4 million.A lined shallow reservoir could cost about $6 million. But if the town were to opt with lining it with concrete, that cost could go as high as $64.8 million. A lined deep reservoir would also run about $6 million; lining it with concrete would bump it up to $34.1 million.Building a deep reservoir with a level bottom would cost about $8.5 million, excavating it further to give it a sloped reservoir bed would cost $11 million.The fourth alternative would cost about $11.5 million.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at

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