Crystal Creek Reservoir to be drained by July

Local

Crystal Creek Reservoir — an iconic picture spot for tourists on their way to the summit of Pikes Peak — will not be as photogenic in the coming months.  

Colorado Springs Utilities is draining the 85-year-old reservoir to make repairs.

It’ll take about three months for all the water to drain, and it won’t be full again until the spring of 2021.  

Andy Funchess, Colorado Springs Utilities field operations manager for water system operations, said they should have done these repairs about 17 years ago when there was a drought, but now it’s needed more than ever.  

With age comes deterioration and complications.  

“It’s time to do some major rehab work,” Funchess said. “There is never a great year to take reservoirs down, but as far as good years go, this is one of the best years that we have.”  

Funchess said the draining process will give a better look into the extent of the problems.  

As of right now, they believe the reservoir face needs to be re-coated and repaired.  

He also said cathodic protection needs to be reinstalled on the dam, and they need to install a head gate so they can manage the control of water on the front side of the dam.  

“We’ll have a lot more answers to the questions, once we get the reservoir completely drained,” Funchess said.

The reservoir holds 3,500 acre-feet of water, which is more than a trillion gallons.  

While water is draining from the reservoir, Pikes Peak America’s Mountain manager Jack Glavan is worried about visitor safety. 

“We are going to very concerned with how far we allow visitors to go,” Glavan said.  

Glavan doesn’t anticipate an impact on tourism, because a majority of people are going to the summit of Pikes Peak, not to fish in the reservoirs.   

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