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Upper Montclair Basin

The Montclair watershed is Denver’s largest drainage basin without an open waterway. The Montclair Basin has been identified as a priority basin for storm drainage improvements and has also been identified as a priority basin for water quality improvement. 


The basin is fairly flat and prone to flooding at certain low points. The current stormwater drainage system, which includes pipes and street capacity to convey water safely, needs to be improved in some key areas. 

Rain that falls in the drainage basin becomes storm runoff that flows in a northwesterly direction, ultimately draining into the South Platte River.  Some improvements have been proposed and are being designed and implemented in the Lower Montclair Basin. The current effort is focusing on evaluating alternatives to address flood management and water quality in the Upper Montclair Basin, upstream of Ferril Lake.

Study goals

  • Develop a new approach to stormwater planning in Denver that empowers the community
  • Minimize the impact of flooding associated with minor to moderate storm events and improve water quality throughout the basin through implementable solutions
  • Think critically and creatively about stormwater resiliency in a built, urban environment
  • Develop alternative concepts and solutions that integrate community interests and provide community benefits
  • Increase public education and awareness of the community’s role in adopting to flood conditions in the built environment

Map of Upper Montclair Basin and study area, from City Park in north to Fairmont Cemetery in south

Project Status: Study Complete

The Upper Montclair Basin study area includes Congress Park, South City Park, the southern part of Park Hill, Hale, Montclair, Mayfair, Hilltop, Crestmoor, and Fairmount Cemetery, as well as small portions of Washington Virginia Vale and Lowry (west of Quebec). 


Jennifer Williams 
Project Manager, Denver Dept. of Transportation & Infrastructure