The County has 22 dams built in the early 1960’s, designed in the 1950’s, since their construction, significant watershed management criteria evolution has occurred which have moved water quality and discharge manage strategy towards networks of small structures like ponds.
The contemporary watershed management strategy provides a higher level and quality of service, at lower cost than the dams. The dams are also well past their design life, which in some cases pose limited risks, and require a lot of funding to operate and maintain. Since the current watershed criteria implements a management solution entirely redundant to the role the dams were intended to perform, a phase-out of the dams service will be completed.
The phase-out is based in the conversion or reclassification of the jurisdictional structure to one that is not beholden to the dam safety criteria and thus alleviates the financial and design risks associated with jurisdictional dams. Engineering analysis is performed at every dam to ensure no hazard is created through conversion with FEMA, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Colorado State Dam Safety offices.
Engineering staff is coordinating the conversion process with the DC Conservation district, property owners who have structures on their property, and the NRCS in keeping with the spirit of the founding intents while also respecting the original and native watershed flows to support natural cyclic riparian and riverine systems.
For more information view the FAQs or contact Zachary Humbles at 303-660-7490.