New Energy Vision adopted

Published: 6/18/2019  12:37 PM
​Energy Vision:Provide resilient, reliable and cost-effective energy that is environmentally sustainable, reduces our carbon footprint and uses proven state-of-the-art technologies to enhance our quality of life for generations to come. This is our ...



Turning commodes into roads

Published: 6/17/2019  2:43 PM
Saving water and reusing materials for the benefit of all customers Colorado Springs Utilities employees are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to save our customers money. One of the most creative ideas I'd ever heard of came about in ...



Cool tips to beat the heat and save energy

Published: 6/10/2019  9:21 AM
This summer, we want to help you stay cool and save energy. Here are a few low-cost/no cost ideas that everyone can do today to be comfortable all summer long. Tips for keeping cool and saving energy 1. Drafts aren’t just a cold-weather concern. T ...



How to get your best summer landscape

Published: 6/6/2019  1:58 PM
It’s no secret that the weather in the Pikes Peak region is unpredictable. If you haven’t yet put away your winter sweaters, you’re aware this spring has been cooler and wetter than normal. It can be tempting to forget about your landscape now that ...



Credit rating increase benefits all customers

Published: 5/30/2019  3:52 PM
Colorado Springs Utilities customers have something new to cheer about: this week S&P Global Ratings (Standard & Poor’s) issued a credit upgrade for Springs Utilities from AA to AA+. Why should our customers care? Because our “credit score ...



Helping our youth become water-wise citizens

Published: 5/21/2019  3:20 PM
Fourth graders in Colorado Springs School District 11 will have a new appreciation for our water, and how it gets from “snowflake to tap” after spending time immersed in water education at the Pikes Peak Children’s Water Festival on Friday, May 17. ...



Community input drives Energy Vision

Published: 5/20/2019  2:48 PM
​One of the many benefits of a community owned utility is that you have a voice in the decisions made through public participation. This holds true with the development of our Energy Vision. The new Energy Vision will be our guiding principles that ...



Spring cleaning tips for inside the home

Published: 5/6/2019  3:22 PM
​While the weather this week doesn't exactly feel May-like -- even for Colorado -- it is a good time to tackle some spring cleaning projects inside your house that can help you save you money and use resources more efficiently.Here are a few tips: ...



Four tips for successful spring planting

Published: 5/6/2019  1:49 PM
Spring is in the air. The allure of beautiful plants can cause serious impulse shopping, but before you spend big bucks on plants that look great today, think through how you’ll set the stage for their long-term success. Here are four key considerat ...



Celebrating the men and women who provide our water during Drinking Water Week

Published: 5/2/2019  8:13 AM
​Drinking Water Week is a great opportunity to celebrate and focus on the men and women that provide safe, reliable and high-quality drinking water to our homes, businesses, and schools. Recently I traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Associa ...



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Meet some of the dedicated workers who bring us our drinking water   

  by  Natalie W.   on  3/29/2019

Employees of the Otero Pump Station​When you think of dangerous jobs, you probably think of steel workers, roofers, truck drivers, pilots or construction workers. You probably don’t think of employees who work at a water pumping station. But as I discovered first-hand last week, the men who work in the high country to help bring the fresh mountain snowmelt through the Continental Divide and then 100 miles into town, have some of the toughest and most dangerous jobs out there.

I met three of these employees—my colleagues—for the first time on March 21 when we took local media to Buena Vista to check out the Otero Pump Station. Tom Hankins (pictured at the top) is the Superintendent of our Homestake Water Project. Josh Propernick (left) and Nick Miller (right) are both Homestake Mechanic Specialists, i.e., Jacks of All Trade.

Nearly everything they do at the Pump Station—and the 120 miles surrounding it that they are also responsible for—they do themselves. From fixing broken pipes and fences, to problem solving why pumps stop working, to monitoring water levels, pressure and flow, these guys do it all.

One of the jobs they do each winter and spring is measuring snowpack levels for our water planners here in Colorado Springs. They have to drive many hours into the back country to get good snow reads. Earlier this month, our guys weren’t able to take the measurements on their normal schedule due to the avalanche dangers across the state. The men use SnoCats to get out into the field and get their snowpack readings, but even now, it’s too dangerous in some spots to use the SnoCats.

As anyone who lives in Colorado is aware, the winter storms that have swept across the Rocky Mountains have caused the highest avalanche danger since the ratings started in 1973. More than 3,000 avalanches already have taken place in Colorado alone, and they're unusually large. Even just driving around Turquoise Lake last week in our SnoCats, we saw two different areas where avalanches had recently come through, plowing down huge trees in their wake.

Our water conveyance group, led by Kalsoum Abbasi, uses the snowpack data our field employees collect to help predict how much yield we are going to receive from our various water collections systems each year. Because snowpack levels vary so much from year to year within Colorado, we use this vitally important data to determine how much space we need to make in our downstream reservoirs so we can then collect that water from our mountain systems.

This group of tightly-knit men are there for each other 24/7. Two of them live in houses on site. There is someone on call all the time. If one of the 400 alarms that is on the pump station goes off at 3 a.m., one of our guys troubleshoots it right away to determine what is wrong.

Seeing these three men in action, along with Aaron, Doyle, Troy, Glen, Jim and Yock – the other dedicated men who work at our Otero Pump Station – make me so proud to be a Colorado Springs Utilities employee.

 
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