Arkansas Valley: New gravel pit reservoirs planned for eastern Pueblo County

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Blue Grass Reservoir plan seeks to build two reservoirs with at least 11,000 acre-feet of storage in eastern Pueblo County on the south side of U.S. 50 near the Pueblo Chemical Depot, about 6 miles downstream from the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River. The reservoirs would be gravity fed from the Excelsior Ditch, said John Sliman, owner of Southwest Sod Farms. “It is our hope that if the Lower Arkansas (district) has a need for water storage, you would consider our project,” Sliman said. “It is my feeling these types of water storage projects will help accomplish both the goals of growth and continued farming in the Arkansas Valley.” Sliman said the reservoirs would help cities maximize their use of current water rights and prevent the need to dry up more farms in the valley.

The reservoirs could be constructed according to specifications by those who store water in it, and built in such a way as to store up to 18,000 acre-feet, said Robert Huzjak, Sliman’s engineering consultant. Materials could be mined on site and the work would be done by Bob Beltramo, who currently operates a gravel operation in the area. The reservoirs would be lined with a slurry wall during construction and dug out to bedrock, 34-42 feet deep. An earthen berm would add another 20 feet of height atop the slurry wall. Projected cost of construction of the storage would be $3,400 to $4,000 per acre-foot. If there is a need for it, storage could be developed by 2011, Huzjak said.

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