Construction of the Sunset Pond was completed in 2008 and provides protection to downstream property by limiting flows to the downstream conveyances.

This is the first in a series of three ponds in the upper Black Watershed as proposed in the Black Arroyo Watershed Management Plan (2002).

The Sunset Pond is located between Inca and Idalia roads at the intersection of Aldaba Circle in Rio Rancho. As funding becomes available, Lisbon and Sugar Ponds are to follow, substantially completing the necessary flood control infrastructure in the Black Watershed.

This facility receives stormwater runoff from approximately 190 acres of upstream watershed and is capable of detaining the 100-year storm event at a peak inflow of 450 cubic feet per second. The peak outflow is reduced to 36 cubic feet per second (92% reduction) and released into a storm drain constructed with the project that conveys stormwater to the existing natural Sunset Channel south of Idalia Road. At its peak storage level, the pond will temporarily hold approximately 11 acre-feet, or about 3.5 million gallons of stormwater. This facility is also designed to enhance water quality by capturing trash, floatable debris, excess sediment, and anything adsorbed to the sediment in the pond, for collection and disposition in an appropriate manner.

Following in the spirit of building multi-purpose facilities that can be utilized as public recreational amenities, SSCAFCA and the design engineer, WHPacific incorporated many features to make this facility much more than an ordinary stormwater detention basin.

The public is invited to enjoy recreational features that include 0.7 miles of walking trails within the 5-acre natural area with excellent rest area views of the Sandia Mountains, as well as the “Stonehenge” rock garden energy dissipater.

SSCAFCA worked collaboratively with the City of Rio Rancho to construct a storm drain system within adjacent City streets that discharges stormwater to the Sunset Pond. Additional coordination with PNM was required to construct the pond outlet piping beneath a high pressure gas line without damaging the line or interrupting service.

The total project cost was approximately $3,000,000.

A copy of the educational monument sign installed at the Sunset Pond can be viewed here.