When a construction site is, geologically, composed of thick layers of soft, water-saturated, clayey soil, piled foundations are economically unviable and surcharge preloading is used as soil consolidation method. With general intention to introduce surcharge preloading into the practice of construction engineering, in this study the author aims to determine the dimensions of the surcharge fill; and the time needed for the silty soils that comprise the foundation of the reservoir to be consolidated, to reach the required degree of consolidation. The results of the geological engineering survey are presented in the article. Description is given of the water reservoir design. Rationale is provided of the foundation deformation design diagram. The fill settlement monitoring results are presented, as well as calculation of the silt consolidation coefficient. Calculations were carried out of strength, deformation, and consolidation of the foundation, based on soil engineering theories and building regulations. It was found expedient in the soil conditions under analysis to apply the surcharge load to the foundation for it to yield to the maximum allowed level. The dimensions of the surcharge fill were calculated, as well as the time needed for the settlement to reach the target level. This article is recommended for use by design engineers as reference materials for foundation calculation or road bed design, as well as by students as a study aid.