United States. Bureau of Reclamation.

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minimum was 135 acres, all the water, as before, being measured on the land.

The following figures show the losses in the existing canal system. Those for the years
1899-1901 are taken from reports of Mr. W. M. Reed, and those for the years 1902-1904
have been compiled direct from the original records.

Amounts of water taken into the canal and used on lands under Carlsbad project, 1899-1904,






Taken at headgates.


per acre.






Used on lands.

24, 142. 72

per acre.







Per cent.

The above shows that, in 1903, out of every 100 acre-feet taken into the canal, only 38
acre-feet were available for use. As a general average, or perhaps more correctly accord-

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ing to the weighted averages, it was necessary to take into the canal 2.02 acre-feet for eadi
acre-foot delivered. The gross duty of water under the canals of the Pecos Inigatioa
Company has been, therefore, as follows:

Duty of water under Pecoa Irrigation Company's 8y9tem, 1899-190$.

Acres per I Acres per

second-foot, j second-foot.

1809 109 1902 110

1900 193 I 1903 91

1901 72 :

These figures are computed as before, viz, 1 second-foot flowing continuously in the
stream and used during the irrigating season.

On the success with which this leakage can be stopped depends very largely the gross duty
which can be assigned to the water. If this loss can be economicaUy brought down to 20 or
25 per cent then it seems probable that a duty of 3 acre-feet per acre may be assigned to the
water entering the canal; on this basis there will be, by constructing reservoir No. 3 and
rebuilding the Avalon dam, a water supply sufficient at all times for 44,000 acres of land.
This seems the maximum for which first-class water rights could be assigned with certainty.
It seems probable, however, that the available water supply is much greater and that during
most years there is sufficient to supply a larger acreage.


Surveys for dams have been made at the old Avalon site, at a point about 2 miles above
the Avalon site, and at dam site No. 3. Those at Avalon and No. 3 had in view the possi-
bility of the construction of storage dams, while the object of the survey above the Avalon
site was to develop the practicability of an overfall diversion dam to pass with safety the
floods to which the river is subject, and to turn the flow of the stream into a suitable canal
to be constructed between this point and the head of the present canal at Avalon. The
dam-site surveys have been made throughout by plane-table methods, the horizontal control
being obtained from an accurately measured base line, platted on the plane-table sheets,
from which a system of plane-table triangulation was expanded to cover the area to be
mapped. The vertical control was obtained from elevations determined by wye level, and
the filling in was done by placing the plane-table rodman on points whose elevations differed
from that of the desired contour by only one or two tenths of a foot. The scale of these
surveys was 100 feet to 1 inch, and the contour interval was varied to suit the local con-
ditions. At the Avalon site and at the diversion dam site the interval chosen was 2 feet,
while at No. 3 site the interval was 2^ feet on the flat and 5 feet on the hillsides.

Numerous borings with wash and diamond drill have been made at these sitee. These
have shown that no satisfactory bed-rock conditions existed at the site of the proposed
diversion dam, and this idea has therefore been abandoned

The borings at the Avalon site have shown conditions suitable for the construction of an
earthen storage dam with impervious core wall, which has been the only type thought suit-
able for the location. The restoration of this dam will involve the placing of about 117,000
cubic yards of material, the construction of an impervious core waU for the entire length of
the dam (about 1,025 feet), the deepening of the outlet canal, new head-gates and spill gates
in the canal, and probably some work on the main spillways. Plans and estimates for the
necessary work are now being prepared. When this dam is restored with its crest at the
same level as that of the old dam, 30 feet above the sill of the head-gates, the available storage
will be 5,578 acre-feet.

At site No. 3 the surveys have shown that an earthen dam with a mRYitmim height of 75
feet above water level and with a length on top of 2,082 feet will be required in order that the
necessary spillways be obtained. This dam would contain 588,000 cubic yards of material
and would require 11,900 cubic yards of riprap. Borings at this site show the presence
of beds of gypsum.

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Reservoir surveys have been made on a scale of 1,000 feet to 1 inch and with a contour
interval of 5 feet at the Avalon reservoir site, at site No. 3, and on Black River. The hori-
zontal control for these surveys has been obtained from a triangulation system expanded
from an accurately measured base line, the angles being observed and the quadrilaterals
adjusted and computed in the usual manner. All vertical control has been obtained from
lines of accurate levels run in circuits, bench marks being placed at frequent intervals for the
use of the topographer. The surveys have shown that sites for lai^ge reservoirs are not to be
found within the limits of the Carlsbad project. The capacity of the Avalon reservoir is, as
already stated, 5,578 acre-feet, obtained by a dam 45 feet high above low water, whOe the
capacity of the proposed No. 3 reservoir, with a dam 75 feet high and 2,082 feet long, is only
65,535 acre-feet.

The surveys of the irrigable lands under the project now in progress are being made on a
scale of 1,000 feet to 1 inch and with a contour interval of 5 feet, the methods used being the
same as those used for the reservoir surveys.


Tlie azimuth, as determined at the reservoir base-line station, was carried to the initial
point of the canal surveys, i. e., the sill of the old head-gates at Avalon, and from this point
an azimuth transit traverse was run down the canals, the distances between traverse stations
being obtained by fore and back readings on double-targeted level rods, the reading being
corrected for the focal length of telescope used. Azimuth observations were made at inter-
vals and the computed azimuths were checked and, when in error, corrected. The latitudes
and departures of the several traverse stations were computed and the points platted on the
plane-table sheets. The platted positions of the points were checked by the method of
tangents. The vertical control of the work consisted of a duplicate line of wye levels, center
stakes being set each 100 feet along the canal and the surface elevation determined at each.
Temporary bench marks were left at short intervals, and standard iron bench-mark posts
were set at intervals of 2 miles. All level circuits were required to close within the standard
limits of error.

A different procedure was adopted for the survey of the lateral system, the only instru-
ment used being the transit, fitted with a good level beneath the telescope and a magnetic
needle of good quality. The heads of all main laterals are shown on the plane-table sheets.
Hie starting point for each lateral survey was the sill of the head-gates at the main canal,
an elevation being obtained from the nearest bench mark. A needle line, distances being
obtained by stadia and elevations carried by the use of the telescope level, was run down
each lateral, and its position, direction, and grade thus determined. This survey is tied into
the land comers so that the ditch can be platted in its proper location. Cross sections were
also taken wherever needed. This gives data for determining the capacity of the ditch, also
some information as to its probable cost and its present or future utility.

In addition to the surveys of the existing canal system surveys have also been made to
detennine the possibility of a relocation at Gyp Bend.


A number of test pits have been dug on the site of the Avalon dam and spillway and on the
lines at Gyp Bend, to determine the character of the material to be encountered in any
projected work at these places. Borings with wash and diamond drill have been made at
dam site No. 3 and at Avalon dam site, and satisfactory conditions have been found at

Surveys were made at McMillan reservoir to determine the poissibility and probable cost of
shutting off the large leakage on the east side of the reservoir, of furnishing an adequate
spillway capacity, and of raising the water level to the height which it was originaUy
planned to raise it, viz, 25 feet on the gage, whose zero is the sill of the present head-gates.
Test pits have been sunk here also where considered necessary.

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The further utility of Lake McMillan as a reservoir for the storage of laif^e quantities of
water depends entirely on the practicability of stopping the large leaks around the eastern
shore. As matters stand at present the available storage capacity is found practically
between gage heights 7 and 17 feet, though there is leakage at all heights. The available
storage between gage heights 7 and 17 feet is, according to the values deduced by Mr. Reed,
15,900 acre-feet, the surface area of the lake being at the 17-foot stage about 3,150 acres.
This amount is very small, and were it not for the probable lai^ inflow to be expected
would be of no value, since the evaporation would in the course of a year almost consume it.

Whether it will be well to make such betterments as will enable this reservoir to store
62,000 acre-feet of water is entirely a conunercial question after the nature of the better^
ments and their probable cost have been ascertained. These betterments and repairs are
as follows: (1) Stopping the leaks around the eastern side; (2) rebuilding the destroyed
portions of the fiU along the southern shore; (3) spillway repairs and reconstruction; (4)
new head-gates. The problems presented in 2, 3, and 4 are simple of solution, but the most
efficient and economical method of eliminating the leakage is problematical.

Two methods of doing this have been suggested. First, to fill in light straw, weeds, etc.,
at times when the water is flowing into the leaks and at the same time pump mud into them,
so as to seal them if possible. Both the initial and final success of this method is uncertain.
There is no assurance that the present leaks can be stopped in this way, nor is it certain
that if the present ones are sealed others will not form elsewhere along the shore. Nor can
any cost, even the most approximate, be assigned to this plan. It might be immediately
successful or the efforts of several months might result in total failure to accomplish the
desired results. Second, to build embankments that wUl cut off the water from all known
deposits of gypsum. Surveys were made in June, 1905, to determine the position and vol-
ume of the embankments necessary to accomplish this result, but the flood in July opened
so many new leaks that it would require an embankment about 5 miles long to cut them off
from the reservoir, with no assurance that new leaks would not at once develop at br near
the inner toe. This plan was therefore abandoned. Some use can doubtless be made of this
reservoir, but commercially it is without value.

At the present time Lake McMillan spills at a gage height of about 16 feet, owing to the
destruction by former floods of portions of the long embankment across the southwest end
of the lake. In order to raise the level to 25 feet on the gage it will be necessary to rebuild
the destroyed portions of this embankment and to provide an adequate spillway of capacity
sufficient to pass 80,000 second-feet of water, which is the maximum flood so far experienced.

The necessary embankments will have a total length of 2,200 feet and contain a total of
39,781 cubic yards of earth. These banks will require riprapping on the water face, and this
will take 5,057 square yards of riprap. The earth can be put in by scrapers with a haul of
less than 100 feet, and the necessary riprap is already placed along the toe of the embank-

No detailed plans have been made for the spillway, in view of the existing conditions,
but sufficient work has been done to enable an approximate estimate of the cost to be made.
The undeveloped plan contemplated a concrete overfall spillway about 800 feet long, founded
on rock and with a discharge channel of sufficient area and grade to carry away the water,
which was to be discharged into the same arroyo into which the lake now spills during
flood stages. The lip of the spillway was to be at elevation 25 feet on the reservoir gage.
To secure the necessary channel it will be necessary to excavate about 96,275 cubic yards
of material.

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Reservoir site No. 3 includes portions of sees. 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 33,
34, and 35, T. 20 S., R. 26 E., of sees. 1, 2, and 12, T. 21 S., R. 26 E., and of sees. 6 and 7,
T. 21 S., R. 26 E., and has a total area of 4,126.7 acres at the 2,355-foot contour, correspond-
ing to a raise in water level of 65 feet. At this elevation it will have a storage capacity of
65,535 acre-feet.

It is proposed to buUd an earthen dam across the valley, to have a length on top of 2,082
feet, a crest width of 20 feet at an elevatiod of 10 feet above the maximum flow line, with a
downstream slope of 2 to 1 and an upstream slope of 3 to 1, and with a maximum height
of 76.2 feet above the present river bottom. Riprap will be placed on the upstream face.

Borings have been made at this dam site with wash and diamond drill and carried to a
depth of 60 feet; they failed to develop the presence of bed rock, though rock stratified with
clay was disclosed. The rock is not of sufficient thickness nor of sufficiently good quality
to permit the construction of a masonry dam at this point.

There has been no opportunity to make a thorough investigation in regard to the occui^
rence of gypsum at this site. It will probably be found near the upper end, as the general
trend of the exposures at Lake McMillan and to the south would carry this formation across
the stream below the upper end of the reservoir.^*

No points have been found at which the dip of the strata could be determined, and con-
sequently it can not now be stated whether or not this reservoir site is feasible. In view
of the conditions existing at the dam site, however, the scheme will have to be abandoned,
unless it is practicable to raise the water level to the full height contemplated.


Lake Avalon was the lower of the two reservoirs owned by the Pecos Irrigation Company,
being located about 6 miles north of Carlsbad. It included portions of sees. 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10,
1 1, and 12, T. 21 S., R. 26 E., and a small portion of sec. 7, T. 21 S., R. 26 E. At the ordi-
nary flow line it submerged an area of 934 acres and gave an avaUable storage of 5,578 acre-
feet. These figures differ very greatly from those published in various places, the sub-
merged area being stated as 1,980 acres and the capacity as 6,300 acre-feet. Tlie figures
g^en here have been obtained from the contour map of the site, made during the progress
of these investigations; they have been carefully checked and are believed to be accurate.
As the lake has silted up to a considerable extent, and as the capacity given above is the
available amount which could be drawn out through the gates, the original capacity was
probably greater.

This reservoir was formed by a dam of similar type to that at Lake McMillan, though
differing in dimensions and details. As constructed it was 1,380 feet long on the crest, with
a maximum height of 50 feet. The downstream portion of the dam was formed of loose rock
fill, with downstream slope of H horizontal to 1 vertical, and a dry-laid wall on the upstream
side with a slope of } horizontal to 1 vertical, the crown width being 10 feet. On the
upstream side was an earth fill with a crest 10 feet wide and a water slope of 3} horizontal
to 1 vertical; this was covered with riprap apparently 12 inches thick. This was the second
dam built on the same site and was destroyed by the flood of October, 1904, which broke the
dam and cut a gap about 450 feet in width through the western portion. Since that time
there has been no water in the reservoir.

The site has three spillways, aggregating about 780 feet in length. Spillway No. 1 is on
the west bank of the river, about one-half mile above the dam. It has a length of 300 feet
and spills at elevation 3,178.7, or 20.7 feet above the sill of the head-gates. Spillway No. 2
is located around the west end of the dam, has a length of 200 feet, and spUls at elevation
3,178, or 20 feet above the sill of the head-gates. Both of these spillways are excavated
into the soft shelly limestone and compacted clay and discharge into a small arroyo which

o Recent Investigations have shown the presence ot beds of gypsum in this reservoir site.

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leads the water into the river several hundred yards below the downstream toe of the dam.
Spillway No. 3 is located in the intake canal just above the site of the head-gates; it is 180
feet long and spills at an elevation of 3,170 feet, or 12 feet above the sill of the head-gates.
This spillway was closed by a row of 32 gates swinging outward, each gate being 4.7 feet
wide and 7 feet high.

These spillways were ample to carry the waters of the October flood, which reached,
according to measurements made at Lake McMillan, a maximum of 80,000 second-feet.
There seems to have been some leakage from this reservoir by percolation into the limestone
hills surrounding it, and one point was found'on the bottom having the appearance of a
leak. So far as known, however, there is no gypsum beneath the site and it seems safe
from such leaks as have destroyed the value of Lake McMUlan as a storage reservoir.

Lake Avalon formed the distributing reservoir for the entire irrigation system and its
loss will have to be made good before water can be again set running into the canals. This
might be accomplished (1) by building a canal upstream from the mouth of the present
canal to some point where a low diversion dam of the overfall type can be built, or (2) by a
combined storage and diversion dam utilizing the serviceable portions of the old dam, with
such changes and modifications in construction as may prove necessary or desirable. Sur-
veys sufficient to permit comparison between these plans have been made.

A site for an overfall dam was located at a point about 2 miles above the present dam, but
borings with diamond drill have not shown the presence of satisfactory bed rock, llie neo-
essaiy canal to carry the water from this point to the old canal was located, and the quan-
tities of excavation have been computed, with the foUowing result: E2arth, 227,964 cubic
yards; rock, 49,190 cubic 3rards.

It does not seem practicable to build a diversion dam at or near the site of the old Avalon
dam, on account of the great cost of the necessary spillways. The excavation of a spiUwaj
of size sufficient to carry 80,000 second-feet would require the removal of about 172,000
cubic yards of material, a considerable portion of which would be classed as hardpan and
require blasting to loosen, but could then be moved by scrapers. As a much smaller amount
of material would rebuild the old dam and render available such storage as is to be had at
Lake Avalon, the easiest and cheapest solution seems to be to rebufld the destroyed portion,
strengthen the section if that id considered necessary, effectually cut off any underflow by
a core wall beneath the dam to bed rock, and protect the downstream toe by a concrete wall
to prevent any displacement by wash from the spillways.


A general description of the Hondo project and a statement of the operations up to the
signing of the contracts for construction will be found in the Third Aimual Report of the
Reclamation Service.

The successful bidders wece the Taylor-Moore Construction Company and the Slinkard
Construction Company. Work was begun in a small way in December, 1904.

Tlie Slinkard Construction Company, contractors for schedule No. 2, which was princi-
pally rock work, carried on operations with diligence, and completed their contract in July,
1905, within the time limit specified. The work was satisfactory to the Government, but was
done at a loss to the construction company, owing to the fact that the ccmtract price was
too low for handling such material. The rock was imstratified, crystallized limestone
interspersed with bodies of conglomerate, and required much more powder than the ood-
tractor had anticipated. It was also apparent that there were some mistakes in the methods
of handling this material. The contractor, instead of using a face and working back, keqNDg
a clear opening on one side, attempted to pulverize the material with powder and remove it
with scrapers and teams. Tlie methods were improved in the latter part of the work,
and the cost to the contractor was less than at the beginning.

o From report by W. M. Reed.

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Tlie Taylor-Moore Construction Company, who had been awarded schedules Nos. 1, 3, 4,
5, and 6, began work in January with only a small force, and being hampered by bad weather
did not accomplish much until March. Even then their equipment was so small that they
began falling behind with the work. Tliey were notified to supply more equipment and force,
and promised to do so, but their increase was not sufficient to accomplish the work within
the specified time, and they were formally notified June 1 that they must satisfactorily
show within fifteen days ability to complete the work; otherwise the €k>vemment would,
under the terms of the contract, take possession of the equipment and carry on the work by
force account. The same company had become involved on other Government work. TTie
Comptroller of the Treasury had refused to pay money on estimates under a project the
contractors for which were in default on any other Government work, and on June 7, being
without any means of prosecuting this work, they turned it over to the Government, in
accordance with the specifications of the contract. Since that date the work has been
carried on by force account.

A board of engineers reconmiended that embankments Nos. 3 and 4 be readvertised and
recontracted if the bids proved satisfactory. On this recommendation the Secretary
advertised for bids for the completion of these embankments, to be opened October 17, 1906.
But one bid was submitted — that of Wood, Bancroft & Doty, of Omaha, Nebr. Tlie con-
tract was awarded to them for $36,908.

Tlie other work is being pushed toward completion. Some delay has been experienced
on account of the nonarrival of iron that had been ordered by the Taylor-Moore Construc-
tion Company and the order confirmed by the Government for the purpose of saving time.

It is expected now that the work will be completed in time to conserve the 1906 spring
floods, but owing to the fact that these floods usually come rather late, it is probable that
water can not be delivered to the lands for the season of 1906. It is also expected that
the distributing system will be constructed this winter, and will be prepared to deliver
the water at the earliest possible date.

The expenditures on the Hondo project to September 30, 1905, were as follows:

ExpeJiditures on the Hondo project to September 30, 1906,

Diversion dam and embankments:

E^xcavation, Taylor-Moore Construction Company $13, 939. 88

Excavation (abandoned contract), force account 32, 292. 00

Rock-excavation work, Slinkard Construction Company 26, 067. 04


Telephone line, force account 1 3, 606. 00

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of ReclamationAnnual report, Volume 4 → online text (page 32 of 45)