Santa Fe River Pond Leveler Installation

by | Feb 17, 2022 | Past Projects, Restoration Projects, Urban Riparian Restoration

Santa Fe County, NM

Shortly after our installation, the beaver had already repaired the dam breach; the pond leveler maintains the new, lowered pond elevation.

December 2021 installation of a pond leveling device (also called a Beaver Deceiver) to lower the water level above a beaver dam along the Santa Fe River at Calle Debra and Paseo Real, just west of the Santa Fe Airport. The low lying road is prone to flooding in high flows, which has been aggravated by the placement of a beaver dam just upstream of the road. To reduce the risk of flooding to the road without displacing the beaver, we installed a pond leveler in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife and Santa Fe County. The device, which drains the pond to a set (lower) elevation is more compatible with our human infrastructure at this site, yet allows the beavers to remain.

Pre-installation, we constructed the wire cage which protects the upstream end of the pond leveler from beaver activity. On site, we created a breach in the dam to install a large pipe at the desired elevation.

The upstream end of the pipe was then fed into the pre-constructed, large wire cage which was anchored in place by t-posts, and functions to protect the inlet from beaver activity. The downstream end of the pipe was secured in place by t-posts as well. The resident beaver completed the installation, layering a dense and interlocking net of sticks over the top of the pond leveler, repairing the breach in the dam without affecting the new, lowered pond elevation.