From The Berthoud Weekly Surveyor (Shelley Widhalm):
The Town of Berthoud started filling Berthoud Reservoir on Wednesday after significant improvements have been made…
“This project was to deepen the reservoir, dredge it out, increase storage, and provide better water quality for the raw water treatment plant,” said Stephanie Brothers, public works director for the Town of Berthoud.
Prior to the Berthoud Reservoir Improvement Project, the water in the reservoir was safe for public consumption but carried an unpleasant taste and odor and had accumulated sediments, minerals, weeds and goose droppings, along with a problem of blue algae. Several municipalities along the Front Range struggle with blue algae resulting from shallow water usage, she said.
“It looks a little deeper, and there’s less vegetation. Hopefully with the vegetation gone, we got rid of the algae in there, and any future algae issues will be easier to control,” she added.
The sediment, which took up five to six feet of the bottom level of the reservoir, caused a loss of overall capacity. The sediment resulted from the town not dredging or cleaning out the reservoir since it took over ownership of it in 1890, according to Brothers.
The town hired Western States Reclamation, Inc., in Frederick, to dredge and improve the reservoir, spending $1.2 million on the entire project, using funds from the town’s raw water impact fee. Work began in October 2016, with the remaining work of filling the reservoir to be completed in early May.
The improvements expanded the reservoir’s capacity from 450-acre-feet to 574-acre-feet – prior to the improvements, the sediment had reduced what could be used to less than 400 acre feet.
The improvements included reconfiguring the structure of the reservoir, dividing it into two cells, with the east cell deeper than the west cell, and adding an internal dam. Once the reservoir is filled, the water in the east cell will be piped to the treatment plant and both cells will be used for storage, she said.
“The east cell allows us to have better water quality for the water plant because it’s deeper, and it makes it easier to manage,” said Mike Hart, town administrator.