The purpose of the settling pond is to trap traction sand applied to the highway, as well as normal and eroded sediment that collects in the Fraser River below Berthoud Pass. In rivers, trout need cold, clear water with a loose, rocky bottom. Sediment washed down from Berthoud pass ends up in the Fraser River, choking spawning gravels and other aquatic habitats, and threatening overall stream health.
In addition, the excess sediment clogs Winter Park Water and Sanitation District drinking water intake pipes and Winter Park Resort’s diversion pumps. By collecting and removing the excess sediment, project partners are restoring the proper functioning of the Fraser River ecosystem.