​Resolve to save in 2020 and beyond

Published: 1/15/2020  7:00 AM
It’s a new decade and a new year, and that means new resolutions. This year, consider a home energy and water efficiency resolution. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, there are a number of strategies you can adopt to lower your utilities bill ...



​Engaging youth in the future of energy

Published: 1/14/2020  1:23 PM
As a municipal utility, community input – from all ages – is key to the success of our energy planning. After all, our Energy Vision concludes with the statement “to enhance our quality of life for generations to come.” Today’s youth are our future ...



Resolve to be environmentally friendly in 2020

Published: 1/10/2020  2:23 PM
​While January is the time for many to reflect on the past year and set goals for the months ahead, consider some eco-friendly resolutions this year. These practices promote sustainability and reduce overall environmental impact. In some cases, thes ...



Saving enough water for 5,000 Olympic Pools

Published: 12/19/2019  3:25 PM
​City Council voted this afternoon to implement new Water-Wise Rules in Colorado Springs starting in 2020.  These rules are intended to encourage the wise use of water on an everyday basis, not just during times of drought or periods of water shorta ...



Exploring ways to save customers money while benefiting the environment

Published: 12/17/2019  4:47 PM
Along with Xcel Energy, Black Hills Colorado Electric and Platte River Power Authority, we announced earlier this week plans to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM), operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), to save ...



Public invited to open house regarding North Union Boulevard

Published: 12/13/2019  12:17 PM
​Utility and resurfacing work scheduled to begin January 2020 We need to replace an aging water line under Union Boulevard to enhance reliability of the water system and prepare for the City’s 2C curb/gutter replacement and road paving. An open h ...



Happy Holi-Ways-to-Pay

Published: 12/10/2019  11:23 AM
In the midst of shopping, traveling, choir concerts and planning holiday parties, the last thing you need to worry about is finding your Utilities bill and remembering to pay it. We realize your life is hectic, that’s why we offer eBilling and other ...



​New solar array now powering Colorado Springs

Published: 12/6/2019  4:37 PM
Get a bird's eye view of our latest renewable energy project, the Grazing Yak Solar Project. Consisting of more than 119,000 panels on 278 acres near Calhan, Colo., Grazing Yak will provide 35 megawatts of electricity to our customers. That is enoug ...



Would you drink the fat?

Published: 11/25/2019  11:00 AM
What’s your favorite part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal? The turkey? The stuffing? The pecan pie? (My problem is I love it all.) What’s the worst part of the Thanksgiving meal? Cleaning up! After spending half the day preparing and then an ...



2020 Budget & Rates Approved

Published: 11/12/2019  4:39 PM
​Today, Colorado Springs City Council approved our budget and customer rates for 2020. The 2020 budget is $954.4 million, slightly higher (1.9 percent) than the 2019 approved budget appropriation. "The 2020 budget supports our mission to offe ...



 Next >>

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.

 
0  Comments
 

Add a comment

Name:
URL:
Comment*: