In early 2019, Colorado Springs Utilities began lowering the water level at Crystal Creek Reservoir on the north slope of Pikes Peak. The draw-down of water will continue through mid-summer 2019 to completely expose the dam.
Commonly referred to as Crystal Reservoir, it's part of the second mountain system developed for Colorado Springs water supply, was built in 1935. To ensure safety and make upgrades to meet modern-day standards of the dam, the complete dam surface, including the foundation structures, must be exposed.
Springs Utilities staff is collaborating with several agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to protect the natural environment, including aquatic life, during this necessary project. CPW has directed an emergency fish salvage starting May 1, when the North Slope Recreation Area opens for the season.
While the length of the project is unknown until assessments are made to a dry dam surface, the expectation is that construction work will occur through 2020 and the reservoir will be refilled in 2021.
Draining Crystal Reservoir does not negatively affect Colorado Springs water supply, as the system allows for movement to other storage reservoirs.
As the project progresses, updated information will be available on this page.