Old Dillon Reservoir ready for expansion
summit daily news
DILLON – After more than a decade of planning and study, work may begin this summer on the expansion of Old Dillon Reservoir. Once completed, the project will increase water supply for the town of Dillon, Summit County and the town of Silverthorne.
The reservoir is located between Dillon Dam Road and Interstate 70.
The Old Dillon Reservoir Water Supply Authority, comprised of the three government entities, announced plans Wednesday to proceed with the expansion. Beginning Sunday, the water authority will seek bids from contractors to execute the project.
Dillon Public Works director Eric Holgerson said construction will likely take two summers’ worth of work.
“It will be up to the contractor, but we’re hoping work will begin this summer,” Holgerson said.
The planned expansion will more than quadruple Old Dillon Reservoir’s capacity to 286 acre feet by raising its north and south dams. The construction project is expected to cost about $4 million.
The Town of Dillon will use its rights to the expanded supply in the event of a water quality or quantity emergency in Straight Creek, the town’s primary water source, which flows from the Continental Divide down along I-70.
“An emergency could entail a forest fire in Straight Creek Basin. It could also be that future dwindling water supplies due to climate would require us to use every available source to meet our demands,” Holgerson said.
Old Dillon Reservoir, accessed from the Dillon Dam Road, is a popular hiking spot. During construction, recreational access to the area will be restricted.
Old Dillon Reservoir was originally constructed in 1936 as a water-supply source for Dillon. Salt Lick Gulch, a tributary to the Blue River, is the reservoir’s water source.
SDN reporter Julie Sutor
can be reached at (970) 668-4630
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