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Horsetooth, Carter, Pinewood to see lower water levels

Bureau of Reclamation
Repairs to a concrete structure in the afterbay at Pole Hill Powerplant, west of Carter Lake in Larimer County, will occur from January through March 2024. Inspections at the Pole Hill facility in December revealed a need for repairs to the structure. During this time, Pole Hill and Flatiron Powerplants will not operate.

While repairs continue, users of Pinewood Reservoir may see very low water levels. Water levels at Carter Lake will drop approximately nine feet and water levels at Horsetooth Reservoir will drop another two to three feet. Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir are currently 72 and 69 percent full, respectively.

"Reclamation understands the importance of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to users of water and power in Northeastern Colorado," said Jeff Rieker, Reclamation Eastern Colorado Area Manager. "With repairs underway, we plan to restore power generation and water operations to the system as efficiently as possible."

Pole Hill Powerplant began operating in 1954. On average, the plant generates enough electricity each year to power 19,000 households. Pole Hill Powerplant is one of six Reclamation-run powerplants in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.

The Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT) is one of the largest and most complex natural resource developments undertaken by the Bureau of Reclamation. C-BT stores, regulates and diverts water from the Colorado River west of the Continental Divide to provide supplemental irrigation water for 615,000 acres east of the Rocky Mountains. It supplements the municipal and industrial water supply and provides recreation for more than 1 million residents in Northeastern Colorado. It also produces enough electricity to power nearly 68,000 households.
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