Birch Creek Dam Rehabilitation

Birch Creek No. 1 and Birch Creek No. 2 are two dams that impound and provide water for the irrigation of lands in the vicinity of Woodruff Town. Birch Creek No. 1 is smaller and was built first, and Birch Creek No. 2, a high hazard dam, is larger and was built later.

During an inspection of the dams from the Utah Division of Water Rights Dam Safety at the two Birch Creek dams, seepage concerns were identified, which resulted in filling restriction letters to Woodruff Irrigating Company (WIC). Franson Civil Engineers provided a preliminary evaluation which also reported that Birch Creek No. 1 did not have enough outlet discharge capacity to meet downstream demands. In order for WIC to meet irrigation demands, the spillway of Birch Creek No. 1 had to be used in conjunction with the outlet.

We presented WIC with a few solution options and recommendations with how to proceed. The recommended project plan resolved the issues with the dams, increased the water supply with the lowest long-term cost, and preserved the water right. We provided WIC with a cost analysis report and then assisted WIC in gaining funding for the project. We also assisted WIC in selecting a contracting company.

We worked to closely identify the foundation issues of Birch Creek No. 2, and then designed a filter and drain system to capture seepage and ensure the stability of the dam. The final project included, first, breaching Birch Creek No. 1 and designing an armament system to prevent erosion of the breached area.  Second, we designed a filter and drain to collect seepage along the outlet works or Birch Creek No. 2 to capture seepage. Once constructed, the filter and drain allowed for the lifting of the filling restricting and allowed for the unrestricted use of both dams.

Throughout the project, we worked with WIC on all aspects of project including design, bid process, funding, contractor selection, and in-kind contributions.