City of Colorado Springs & Colorado Springs Utilities Underground Damage Prevention Safety Program

(Implementation January 2021)

The City has partnered with CSU to stand up a local enforcement program to oversee excavation activities and requirements. Contractors will still call for locates through the 811 program, however CSU will now be able to address complaints and infractions at a local level. A new Article 10 (Underground Damage Prevention Safety Program) of Chapter 12 (Utilities) of the Code of the City of Colorado Springs has been approved – Ordinance 20-70


The Water Shortage Ordinance (WSO) has been in place since 2002 and establishes the rules that govern the response options available to City Council during a water shortage. This Ordinance is a key means for City Council and Colorado Springs Utilities to protect water supply, maintain water service essential for public health and safety, and minimize adverse impacts to economic activity during a water shortage. Colorado Springs Utilities has proposed updates to the existing Water Shortage Ordinance to include a long-term focus on reducing the waste of water at all times, updating the water shortage response rules, and removing rules that have been superseded by new state laws. This program will contribute 10% to our overall savings target – 375 acre-feet in 2021 and 450 acre-feet by 2030 which, in turn, will provide a future source of supply for our community.

In the updated WSO, the following actions will not be permitted at any time to reduce waste:
  1. Watering landscaped areas, other than with drip irrigation, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the period from May 1 to October 15.
  2. Watering landscaped areas with potable water more than three (3) days per week, with the following exceptions:
    1. Watering under an establishment permit;
    2. Watering under a water allocation plan;
    3. Watering new plant material on the day of planting;
    4. Watering of turf grass that is essential for high use sports fields;
    5. Operating and attending to an irrigation system as needed for installation, repair, or reasonable maintenance; and
    6. Watering trees, shrubs, and plants (including vegetable and flower gardens) with a drip irrigation system, handheld hose equipped with an active positive shutoff nozzle or handheld container at any time.
  3. Using water to clean outdoor impervious surfaces such as sidewalks, driveways and patios, except when cleaning with water is necessary for public health or safety reasons or when other cleaning methods are impractical or inappropriate.
  4. Applying water intended for irrigation to an impervious surface, such as a street, parking lot, alley, sidewalk or driveway, or any other water use outside, in a way that allows water to pool or flow across the ground or into any drainage way, such as gutters, streets, alleys or storm drains.
  5. Washing motor vehicles, trailers, boats and other types of equipment with a hose that lacks an active positive shut-off nozzle.
  6. Failing to repair or disable, for a period of more than ten (10) calendar days, leaking or damaged irrigation system components, service lines or other plumbing fixtures.