Because You Asked: Willow Springs Ponds
Last updated 12/28/2022 at 12:06pm | View PDF
In September this newspaper reported on the diminishing water level in the southern pond at Willow Springs Ponds, located west of Hwy. 85-87 and south of Mesa Ridge Parkway. Area residents had been wondering why the water had gotten so low. At that time, there was still a small amount - enough for a few ducks to enjoy.
There had been speculation that it was drained intentionally, or that it had something to do with the discovery that fish there have been contaminated with PFAS. El Paso County officials said it had nothing to do with either suggestion and countered that it was a natural phenomenon.
"We are aware of the water level in the southern pond at Willow Springs Ponds," said Amy Jo Fields, a county communications and marketing specialist, back in September. "Water levels often fluctuate due to a variety of circumstances."
No exact reason for the low level was identified, but Fields said the county was "exploring long-term solutions for maintaining consistent water levels in both ponds."
By December the water was gone completely and residents continued to speculate about why, so we decided to inquire about the matter again.
One reader suggested that the water was being diverted to the nearby construction on I-25 as part of the MAMSIP project (Military Access, Mobility & Safety Improvement Project). Officials refuted that theory.
"No water is being taken from or diverted from Willow Springs Ponds for the construction on I-25 as part of the MAMSIP project," Fields said.
Dan Hunt of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) verified that crews are not using pond water for the I-25 work.
"I am not sure where the water for this plant is coming from, however I do know we are not using water from Fountain Creek or the Willow Springs Ponds," he said.
Editor's note: We asked Hunt to provide the source of the water for the plant. His response was received after our print deadline, but is included here: The water for the concrete plant comes from a city of Fountain fire hydrant located nearby.
Again, there is no word about the exact reason for the water levels and no solution identified yet.
"Both ponds are filled by a natural spring. There are a variety of circumstances that could affect the natural spring and cause the water level fluctuation in the ponds," Fields said.