Quail Creek Dam tours part of Water Week in southern Utah

Posted at 11:10 PM, May 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-06 11:13:54-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah - The Washington County Water Conservancy District opened the doors of Quail Creek Dam Tuesday, to give people a look inside. It’s part of an effort to educate people about where their water comes from.

Quail Creek Reservoir is the primary source of culinary water for a lot of Washington County. The dam was built in the late 80s and consists of 176,000 yards of rolled concrete construction.

“It’s our huge concrete structure dam,” said WCWCD Field Operations Manager Hank Childers. “The only one in the county like it.”

A look inside doesn’t reveal much, a long, damp concrete corridor stretches much of the 2,000-foot long structure. Water drips from the walls, but Childers said that’s normal.

“We measure the seepage, and the water collection,” Childers said. “Both the ground water and through the dam, monitoring its integrity, its leaks and seeps.”

Tour attendee Adrienne Jahns said it’s fascinating to see.

“I was interested in the little tubes that drain the moisture out into the little runways on either side,” Jahns said. “That’s a fascinating engineering concept.”

Tours were given as part of national water week, a week of events aimed at helping people appreciate what goes into collecting, storing and treating water.

“Knowledge is power,” said Childers. “And to empower the public with the knowledge of where their water comes from what takes place in managing it and how hard it is.”

Residents’ main concern is will there be enough water. Childers said storage in the reservoir is not where they’d like it to be, but believe there is enough culinary water to make it through another year. Still residents recognize the need to conserve.

“We’re going to have to begin as a culture and a society to find ways to limit the access to a very limited resource,” said Bob Jahns. “And that water resource is life for us in southern Utah.”

For additional water week activities, click here: