In the late ‘80’s, a co-generation facility was built at the edge of the Rifle airport to take advantage of natural gas oyster pipelines. At that time, the federal government offered generous tax credits for electric facilities that could provide a secondary use for waste heat or water from the plant. Oysters need both heat and warm water, so SGM was contacted by a professor experimenting with oyster farming to assist with survey, civil, and structural design of the facility. SGM worked with the client to provide construction drawings and permitting of the facility that took oysters from the Gulf of Mexico and grew them to larger, higher quality oysters compared to those normally available to inland markets like Colorado.

While no longer in business, the oyster farm is a great example of scientific ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking. Even though SGM is known for ‘traditional’ civil engineering—roads, wastewater plants, infrastructure—we never know what we might get involved with here in Western Colorado!

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