Water Projects

Trampas Canyon Reservoir & Dam

Santa Margarita Water District
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Total Cost:
$123 million
Spring 2020
Construction Duration:
24 months
Sukut Construction

Butier Engineering, Inc. was selected to provide construction management and inspection services for the construction of the Trampas Canyon Dam and Reservoir. The dam and reservoir are being reconstructed on 177-acres of property to create a 1.6 billion gallon recycled water reservoir. Construction consists of new inlet/outlet structures, a spillway, micro-tunneling, instrumentation, and a new Dam control building. The project will help SMWD achieve its goal of recycling 100% of its wastewater and provide seasonal and operational storage for their existing and proposed recycled water system. The reservoir will supply irrigation demands for customers in Talega Valley and in Rancho Mission Viejo’s (RMV) ongoing Ranch Plan development, as well as other existing irrigation demands in South Orange County. Recycled water will be supplied by the Chiquita Water Reclamation Plant (CWRP) and may be supplemented with other non-domestic water (NDW) supply sources.

By the Numbers:

  • 1.6 billion-gallon recycled water reservoir = 2,500 Olympic size swimming pools
  • $93 million in construction costs
  • 3,000 feet long from the east dam to the west side of the reservoir
  • 2,700 feet from back of reservoir to the dam
  • Deepest Point: 88 feet
  • Face of Dam: 216 feet high
  • Dam will be built 40 feet higher than it currently is
  • 4.3 million cubic yards of grading and excavation
  • 41 million gallons of water was removed due to the recent rainstorms


New Trampas reservoir in south O.C. overcoming hurdles; public tours offered May 4

The Big Dig: Trampas Canyon Reservoir to Serve as South County’s Largest Water Project