Characterization of Water Quality and Biology in the Fountain Creek Watershed

Science Center Objects

Monument and Fountain Creeks and their respective watersheds, located in the Front Range of Colorado, serve as important drainages for surface runoff, waste-water treatment operations, and as a water supply for downstream agricultural needs. As population growth continues in these watersheds, more and more pressures are being applied to the receiving streams, especially Fountain Creek. 

Communities downstream from Colorado Springs, from Fountain to Pueblo and as distant as La Junta, are concerned about water-quality impacts to Fountain Creek from urbanization. Elevated sediment, bacteria, and selenium loads affect municipal treatment processes, and biota. Increased flows in Fountain Creek, as a result of population growth in Colorado Springs, also alter stream morphology especially during periods of storm runoff.

Bank cutting and subsequent erosion introduce additional sediment in areas and scour the streambed in other areas. The impact to stream biota can be dramatic.

Water-resource managers in the Monument Creek and Fountain Creek watersheds understand the importance of this water resource and are dependent upon understanding water-quality and biota conditions.


The objectives of this project are to provide biological monitoring and assessment of the biological communities (benthic macroinvertebrates and fish) in the Fountain Creek basin to fulfill the EPA stormwater permit requirement for the City of Colorado Springs.