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 ...

​Colorado Springs Utilities – A Treasured Community Partner

Published: 5/1/2019  12:44 PM
Very seldom (if at all) do we take time to learn the mission of our local utility company, much less the vision. Our vision statement is: "Colorado Springs Utilities is a treasured community partner, well known for providing responsible and de ...

Wastewater employees embody dedication and the essence of public service

Published: 4/23/2019  2:39 PM
 ​The men and women who make up our wastewater team are truly an amazing bunch of people. They go places and see and touch things that most of us would prefer to avoid – basically, they’re helping to get rid of everything we put down the toilet or s ...

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Where our water comes from   

Natalie W.  by  Natalie W.  on  4/2/2019

Snowpack coming out of Homestake TunnelIf you are like most people, when you turn on the tap to wash your hands, brush your teeth or wash dishes, you never give a second thought to where that water just came from. You never think about the journey those hydrogen and oxygen molecules took from more than 100 miles away in the high country of the Western slope to your faucet. You just know that whenever you need the water, it’s there for you. Clean, fresh and…delicious.

The reason it’s always there for you is because of our hard-working Water Planners and Field Operations Teams. On March 21, I had the opportunity to see where our water comes from, through the Continental Divide, to the outlet of the Homestake Tunnel near Turquoise Lake. We pump the water more than 100 miles away to the Arkansas River Basin and then to our water treatment plants to deliver it to our customers’ taps.

This year, snowpack is above average, which means we won’t have room to collect every drop. The good news is that this large snowpack will give us a buffer to get through drier years. Water conveyance supervisor Kalsoum Abbasi and her team stage our water and move it around so that we can collect as much as possible. To do this, we utilize our 25 reservoirs to store the water. We are thankful for a large snowpack this year because it will help us fill all of our reservoirs this spring and summer.

Abbasi explains that because snowpack levels vary so much from year to year within Colorado, we use the data we collect from snowpack readings to figure out how much space we need to make in our downstream reservoirs so we can then collect that water from our mountain systems. Every January our Homestake crew goes out to begin taking snow reads. They will continue to do this twice a month through April so we keep a pulse on our snowpack levels.

We are pumping water out of the Turquoise and Twin Lakes Reservoirs at full capacity right now. While this is a little unusual, the reason is so we can make more room in those reservoirs for when the snowmelt does run off, so we have somewhere to put it. While you may look to mountains while skiing this weekend and see all this snowpack, it’s important to remember that although there is a ton of snowpack, all that water is still in the snow. It’s not until the snow melts in late spring or early summer that we will see our reservoirs fill up.

Planning the water supply for a city of 464,474 people and growing is no small feat. Luckily, we have some of the best water planners in the state working hard every single day to make sure that the next time you turn on your faucet, fresh mountain snowmelt comes pouring out.


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