Barker Dam begins spilling into Boulder Creek's summer water recreation

Posted at 9:13 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 14:19:40-04

NEAR NEDERLAND, Colo. — Water is spilling over the edge in Boulder County, but it's in a good way. After a late spring snowstorm in May, Barker Dam began it's spill into Boulder Creek this week. The dam is one of three water sources for the city of Boulder, becoming drinking water after going through one of the water treatment plants.

This process is expected to happen every year, but Boulder Public Works Water Resources Manager Joe Taddeucci said the spill was late this year from the May snowfall. Currently the stream flow in Boulder is just over 400 cu ft/sec. If that number goes up to 700 or 800 cu ft/sec, law enforcement agencies will ban tubes on the creek flowing from the dam for safety reasons.

Taddeucci said the water levels in the dam and creek are looking safe for the months ahead, but caution citizens to be aware of summertime thunderstorms and flash floods when being near the water.

“People who are visiting the creek with small children want to be aware of the high flows and fast moving water," said Taddeucci.

Rental companies in Boulder are preparing for the busy summer season when tubers and kayakers head to Boulder Creek.

“Early July, late June normally the water levels start to drop a little bit and that’s when we start renting tubes and seeing a lot more business," said Whitewater Tubing & Recreation Manager Ben Hoesly.

Taddeucci said the spilling from the dam will not last the entire summer as the water levels drop, but people driving by should be able to see the spill for a few weeks or up to a month.