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Shedding 640,000 pounds of holiday weight

Fraser settling pond feeling lighter after CDOT crews remove traction sand used to help winter driving.

Denver Water's Fraser River settling pond near the Winter Park Ski Resort during the sediment removal process.


In what has become an annual routine, Colorado Department of Transportation crews in Grand County have removed about 320 tons of traction sand from a Denver Water diversion pond on the Fraser River.

The pond sits across from the Mary Jane entrance to the Winter Park Ski Resort. It was originally built as part of Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System to help bring water to the Front Range. In 2011, it was redesigned to trap the traction sand that collects on the side of the highway and washes down the mountain when snow melts during the spring runoff.

The sediment is not good for the aquatic habitat in the river, nor for the pipes and filters at water treatment facilities downstream.

The project got its first test in 2013 and has been a big success in recent years, removing more than 2,600 tons of sediment. Water treatment operators have noticed enhanced water quality, and the trout fishery continues to show signs of improvement.

Check out Good for drivers, bad for the Fraser River (from 2015) to learn more about the project and its successes in recent years.