EBTAG Annual Workshop and Field Trip
October 12-13, 2017


Technical Challenges with Engineering Improvements at Nichols and McClure Dams

Robert A. Fowlie1 and Robert Jorgenson2

1P.E., BCEE CDM Smith Inc., fowliera@cdmsmith.com

2P.E., City of Santa Fe

The City of Santa Fe owns and operates McClure and Nichols Reservoirs as part the Canyon Road Water Treatment Plant (CRWTP) water supply system. The two reservoirs are located in the upper reaches of the Santa Fe River watershed and are impounded by McClure and Nichols dams. McClure reservoir collects runoff from the watershed and water from the reservoir is conveyed down the Santa Fe River to Nichols Reservoir. Nichols Reservoir stores water for conveyance to the Canyon Road Water Treatment Plant (CRWTP). Water is conveyed to CRWTP through an outlet conduit and structure into an existing gravity flow raw water pipeline located in the bed of the Santa Fe River.

The City of Santa Fe has implemented a program to upgrade and replace the existing infrastructure at McClure and Nichols Reservoir beginning with replacement of the original intake towers at the reservoirs. The original intake towers have been removed and replaced with inclined concrete intake structures and the City is moving forward with the next phase of the program, which consist of rehabilitating the existing outlet conduits and replacing the existing gravity raw water pipeline from Nichols Reservoir to the CRWTP, and remove the existing pipeline from the river.

The dams and related infrastructure at Nichols and McClure are under the jurisdiction of the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer – Dam Safety Bureau (DSB). The DSB inspects the dams on an annual basis and has requested the City investigate and remediate issues at both dams including leakage in the outlet conduits and intake structures, and repairs to joints in the spillway chute floor and walls. The City has completed investigations and reports to address these issues and is in the process of implementing the required repairs.

There are numerous challenges associated with the planned infrastructure improvements and repairs such as impact on reservoir operations, phasing of repairs and construction, and packaging of projects to facilitate bidding and construction. To meet these challenges, the City developed a holistic approach to coordinate the investigations and reports and develop a workplan for completion of the planned improvements and repairs to the dams. This presentation will outline the engineering challenges and the methodology related to the development of a workplan for completing the necessary projects.

15th Annual Espanola Basin Technical Advisory Group Workshop and Field Trip
October 12-13, 2017, Santa Fe Convention Center