Barker Reservoir to fill and spill soon
Barker Reservoir is expected to fill and start spilling water by this coming weekend, with the potential to happen sooner if heavy rains occur.
Each spring and early summer, Barker Reservoir fills due to snowmelt runoff. Once the reservoir water surface reaches the Barker Dam spillway crest, any additional water flows over the spillway.
Barker Reservoir is a water supply reservoir that provides drinking water for the City of Boulder. It is not a flood control facility. Unlike flood control reservoirs that have extremely large storage volumes (e.g. Cherry Creek and Chatfield Reservoirs), Barker Reservoir has relatively limited storage space. Since storage space in Barker Reservoir is limited, once the reservoir is full, any excess inflow passes over the spillway and continues flowing downstream into Boulder Creek.
When peak stream flows occur during spring runoff, minor nuisance flooding often occurs in the City of Boulder along the Boulder Creek Path, historically at underpasses.
To learn more about spring runoff,
Although spring runoff (and higher flows on Boulder Creek) is expected this time of year, some creek conditions have changed due to the September 2013 Flood. To inform the community about potential risks, the city has prepared a Spring 2014 Post-Flood Guide
Residents are asked to be aware, be vigilant and be safe. This means monitoring the weather, watching the water levels in near by creeks and always being aware of your surroundings.
The city will continue to monitor Boulder Creek and notify the public of any safety concerns. In past years, Boulder Creek has been closed to tubing and swimming when flows exceeded 800 cubic feet per second. This threshold will continue to be used to trigger these recreational closures during spring and summer 2014.
For more information about flooding in Boulder, including preparedness tips and recovery details, visit www.BoulderFloodInfo.net