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Mirage Drive pond overflow explained

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:29:00 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 15 2014 09:46:47 PM CDT

Colorado Springs staff says pond is designed to spill over into street if filled by rain.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

(TUESDAY, JULY 15)

Two city spokesmen said a pond that overflowed last weekend is designed to do so when it gets full from runoff after a heavy rain.

Corey Farkas, manager of the Streets Division, and Tim Mitros, the stormwater manager, explained the situation during Mayor Steve Bach's monthly media briefing.

Farkas and Mitros said the pond, which serves as a retention basin for the rebuilt drainage channel along Mirage Drive, was filled by the channel's larger capacity and as much as four inches of rain that fell in the area Saturday.

"The channel and the pond were doing their jobs," Farkas said.  "We just had an exorbitant amount of rain that fell -- 3 1/2 to 4 inches in a very short period of time."

"There was a lot of hail, and hail was probably our biggest issue," Mitros said.  "It starts plugging up inlets and knocks down the capacity in our system, is what happens."

Farkas and Mitros said the pond occasionally spills over onto part of Mirage Drive where it can flow into storm drains.  They admit the recent overflow was heavier than normal.

"There's no need for us to do anything to the pond," Mitros said."

(SUNDAY, JULY 13)

Part of Mirage Drive in the Briargate area of north Colorado Springs was closed Saturday because of apparent flooding from a nearby pond filled by a rebuilt drainage ditch.

"I've seen it do this before but not like this," said a neighbor who was walking his dog in the area late Saturday night.

The pond is a diversion or retention basin for runoff water from a drainage channel located between Rampart High School and the Preserve at Briargate neighborhood.

City engineers recently completed a two-year project costing $1.8 million to rebuild the channel.  The channel previously could not handle heavy runoff and, on several occasions, eroded yards and flooded basements.

Many neighbors were unaware of the overflowing pond.  They said a storm Saturday was the first test for the channel, and they came out to see how it fared.

"It got half to three-quarters full but it kept draining," said Bob Kelly, one of the neighbors.  "The city did a fantastic job.  We couldn't be more delighted."

Mike Chavez, a city engineer, said the channel is twice as large as it used to be.  It's possible, then, that the pond has received more water than expected.

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