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Chatfield Reservoir
Chatfield State Park.JPG
Chatfield Reservoir
Location of Chatfield Reservoir in Colorado, USA.
Location of Chatfield Reservoir in Colorado, USA.
Chatfield Reservoir
Location in Colorado
Location of Chatfield Reservoir in Colorado, USA.
Location of Chatfield Reservoir in Colorado, USA.
Chatfield Reservoir
Location in the United States
Location Douglas and Jefferson counties, Colorado, U.S.
Coordinates 39°32′50″N 105°03′54″W / 39.547206°N 105.065002°W / 39.547206; -105.065002
Type reservoir
Primary inflows South Platte River
Primary outflows South Platte River
Catchment area 3,018 sq mi (7,820 km2)
Basin countries United States
Surface area 1,500 acres (610 ha) (Normal pool)
4,822 acres (1,951 ha) (Max. Pool)
Max. depth 47 m (154 ft)
Chatfield Dam
USACE Chatfield dam and reservoir.jpg
Chatfield Dam
Status Operational
Construction began 1967; 55 years ago (1967)
Opening date 1975; 47 years ago (1975)
Owner(s) United States Army Corps of Engineers logo.svg U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Rolled earth fill
Height 147 ft (45 m)
Length 13,136 ft (4,004 m)
Width (crest) 30 ft (9 m)
Dam volume 17,255,100 cu yd (13,192,471 m3)
Total capacity 355,000 acre⋅ft (437,886,052 m3)
Inactive capacity 27,076 acre⋅ft (33,397,754 m3)
Maximum length 2 mi (3 km)
Normal elevation 5,432 ft (1,656 m) - 5,500 ft (1,676 m) MSL

Chatfield Dam and Reservoir is a dam and artificial lake located on the South Platte River, south of Littleton, Colorado. The dam and reservoir were built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers as a response to the disastrous flood of 1965. In addition to its primary purpose of flood control, it serves as one of many water supply reservoirs for the city of Denver, Colorado. In 1966, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission projected a total federal cost of $74 million. Construction of the project was begun in 1967 and the dam was completed in 1975.

The massive breastworks of the dam measure approximately 13,136 feet (4,004 m) in length with a maximum height of the dam of 147 feet (45 m) above the streambed. The normal depth of the lake is 47 feet (14 m) at its deepest point. This means the dam towers 100 feet (30 m) above the mean surface of the reservoir.

The lake drains an area of more than 3,000 square miles (8,000 km2). The 1,500 acre (6 km2) lake has a conservation storage capacity of 27,000 acre⋅ft (0.033 km3) with a flood-control pool of over 350,000 acre⋅ft (0.43 km3)

Chatfield State Park

The reservoir is surrounded by Chatfield State Park, a recreation area with boating, horseback riding and camping. A secondary inflow from the south is Plum Creek. A tertiary inflow from the west is Deer Creek.

There are 212 bird species that are frequently found at Chatfield Reservoir. These birds either permanently live there or just go there to rest after long migrations. There is a Chatfield bird watch list that anyone can access. The bald eagle, white pelican and burrowing owl have been seen.

Chatfield Reservoir Reallocation Project

The Chatfield Reservoir Reallocation Project, slated to begin in fall, 2017, will create an additional 20,600 acre feet of water storage in the reservoir, raising its level by about 12 feet. The project will require that some of the surrounding park's facilities be moved back from the new, higher lake levels.

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