One month after the Bomb Cyclone

Published: 4/11/2019  12:35 PM
Thank goodness this week’s storm was nowhere near the impact of the one last month. The #BombCyclone that hit us on March 13 made quite an impact on our city. Anyone who has lived in Colorado Springs – even if only for a couple of years – knows to ...

Front Range breaks records

Published: 4/11/2019  9:35 AM
As we integrate more solar energy into our grid in the coming years, some may ask, “How is power generated on cloudy days? Will the community lose power?” To ensure power quality and reliability, our grid operators work tirelessly so that our power ...

Where our water comes from

Published: 4/2/2019  2:53 PM
​If 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 too ...

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

Published: 3/29/2019  8:51 AM
​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 ...

Largest lineworkers rodeo ever comes to Colorado Springs on March 30

Published: 3/28/2019  9:30 AM
In what is estimated to be the largest national event of its kind, the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Lineworkers Rodeo is coming to Colorado Springs on Saturday, March 30. The event is estimated to bring in more than $1 million to the l ...

Continuing shift to renewables, adding storage

Published: 3/20/2019  3:45 PM
We are finalizing negotiations and, in the coming months, will award a contract for 150 megawatts of new solar generation plus a 25-megawatt battery storage system by the end of 2023. At this time, it is the largest energy storage facility announced ...

Five tips for spring landscape cleanup

Published: 3/20/2019  1:13 PM
​As winter draws to a close, your landscape is beginning to wake up. Even though your plants still look dormant, March is a wonderful time to pull on your gardening gloves and start tackling several yard care tasks. If you do these five things in th ...

APPA Lineworkers Rodeo just one of many ways employee volunteers donate their time to the community

Published: 3/20/2019  9:15 AM
​As more than a thousand competitors and spectators converge on Colorado Springs for the American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo on March 30, 115 Colorado Springs Utilities employee volunteers will be working behind the scenes to make ...

From bomb cyclones to rodeo competitions, lineworkers embrace safety, efficiency

Published: 3/19/2019  6:23 PM
​The American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Lineworkers Rodeo is the Olympics of electric linemen – the ultimate test of skill in the profession. Colorado Springs is fortunate to host this year’s event March 29-30. On the heels of the March 12 ...

Lineworkers Rodeo just the beginning for 115 power poles

Published: 3/6/2019  1:57 PM
​On March 30, Colorado Springs will host the American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo. The event – which will take place at the Rock Ledge Ranch – will bring in more than 78 lineworker teams, 125 lineworker apprentices, 400 total compet ...

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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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