Eastern Colorado Area Office
11056 W. County Rd 18E
What's New at ECAO?
It has been a busy year across the ECAO.
The Big Thompson Power Plant was brought back on-line in July. It had been damaged during the Colorado Floods last September. Although, the majority of the Colorado-Big Thompson project facilities were restored to service within weeks after the flooding, the two at the Mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon have taken a little longer. The Dille Diversion Dam is expected to return to service next year.
The 2013-2014 winter season delivered a healthy snowpack. This combined with a rather rainy season have left all C-BT reservoirs full – somewhat unusual for the end of the water season.
Similarly, early projections that the Fryingpan-Arkansas would import around 60,000 acre-feet of water were surpassed. Actual imports by the end of August were closer to 80,000 acre-feet. Average annual diversions for the Fry-Ark Project over the last twenty years have been closer to 52,000 acre-feet.
Facilities across the ECAO are moving into winter operations.
On the C-BT, Pinewood Reservoir water levels continue to fluctuate with power generation at the Flatiron Power Plant. There will be a draw down of the reservoir in November for annual maintenance schedules.
Olympus Dam on Lake Estes has returned to more typical operations after a very active year. On Monday, September 15, seasonal adjustments per our agreement with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife were made at Olympus Dam. The radial gates, the gates that send water over the concrete spillways, were closed for the year. The dam continues to pass 50 cfs through its river gate, moving Big Thompson River water on through the structure down the Big Thompson Canyon. C-BT Project water continues to be diverted by the dam through Olympus Tunnel for power generation and delivery to water customers elsewhere on the project.
Releases from Green Mountain Reservoir to the Lower Blue River in Summit County have fluctuated with downstream demands. Releases are likely to remain above 500 cfs well into October. To receive regular information updates on Green Mountain Reservoir, please follow it on Facebook.
On the Fry-Ark Project, Twin Lakes and Turquoise reservoirs are basically full. In September, Twin Lakes Dam was under maintenance clearance while some work was done on the dam. Releases from Sugarloaf Dam on Turquoise Reservoir were adjusted to make up for releases from Twin Lakes to Lake Creek and the Arkansas River that were temporarily curtailed. Work has now concluded and both Twin Lakes and Sugarloaf dams have returned to normal operations.
To learn more about Ruedi, Pueblo, Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs, please visit their web pages on this site or follow them on Facebook at Horsetooth Reservoir, Pueblo Reservoir, and Ruedi Reservoir.
If you are interested in receiving information on any of these reservoirs directly to your inbox via e-mail, please contact Kara Lamb, ECAO's Public Information Officer.
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Last Updated: October 10, 2014