The Rueter-Hess Reservoir project originated over twenty years ago in connection with water requirements for the Parker, Colorado, USA area. Initially, the Parker Water and Sanitation District (PWSD) requested a water right to utilize water from Cherry Creek. Over time, they were granted permission to create the Rueter-Hess Reservoir with surface and alluvial groundwater from the Cherry Creek source. Although other locations were considered, the Castlewood Canyon site was found to be the best location. Plans for the dam and the 600 acre reservoir moved forward during the early 1990’s, even though there were legal issues due to the fact that the reservoir “would flood much of the state park and the cattle operations on historic ranches nearby (1991)”. In 1993, two alternate sites were located and, eventually, the Newlin Gulch (located southwest of Parker) was chosen as the final site for the Rueter-Hess Dam and Reservoir. Several legal challenges to the PWSD’s plans were overcome in 1993 then geotechnical studies and the environmental impact study were completed by 2003 with groundbreaking the following year. Enlargement followed in 2005.


Approval to enlarge the reservoir from approximately 470 water surface acres to 1126 by increasing the height from 135’ to 196’ was realized in 2008, with a ground-breaking ceremony following in September. A satellite view of the present dam under construction is shown above (in lower left portion) with partial view of downstream residential development (in upper right). The dam expansion is scheduled for completion in 2009 with filling of the actual reservoir to take place in 2010. At this time, the reservoir will supply the town of Parker, Colorado in connection with residential requirements, as well as to serve as a reserve in case of a drought. It will also supply water to the underground aquifer. Additionally, there are plans to create recreational improvements to the reservoir areas, this includes parks, trails, fishing and non-motorized boat access.

For more information visit http://www.rueterhess.com

What We Did

The proximity of the dam to several highly developed residential areas of Parker has caused concern regarding the stability and safety of the dam. To re-assure all parties regarding the safety of the dam an extensive network of pore-pressure piezometers, earth pressure cells and settlement sensors, were installed in the original dam, with a number of added sensors to be included in the dam expansion.

We were tasked with design and supply of the monitoring systems and data management software. The systems consisted of (2) Campbell Scientific CR10X based systems which also included our VWDSP Interface, 4 of our 16-channel MultiMux’s, solar charger/battery and solar panel. Use of our Overvoltage Protection (OVP) equipped MultiMux provided an added degree of protection to the system from the lightning common to the area. A view of one of the installed systems is shown at right.

Our MultiLoggerDB software was utilized to manage the systems, automate data collection and provide data management. The project interface capabilities of Insite provide an easy-to-use view of the project including instrument locations, current values and charting. From the initial deployment in 2005 the system was expanded in 2008 with an additional 25 piezometers, use of our MLWeb software is planned for 2009 to provide online access to the data. A view of Insite is shown at right.

Who to Contact

If you have questions about this project, or would like to obtain project reference contact information, please contact:

Martin van Balkom