Pueblo Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir is a source of water supply for Colorado Springs.

On Feb. 5, hackers remotely accessed controls on a water treatment facility in Pinellas County, Florida, and was almost successful in poisoning the water supply, according to news reports.

As Securitymagazine.com reports, hackers gained access to internal platforms and changed chemical levels, but a worker noticed the issue and quickly changed the levels back to normal.

At Colorado Springs Utilities, officials remain ever alert to such shenanigans, says spokesperson Jennifer Jordan Kemp.

"Safety is a top priority for us," she says via email. "We have measures in place to monitor and respond to any potential threats to the system, including cyber threats and threats to our water system."

An internal cyber security team continuously monitors cyber threats, assesses the cyber resilience of Utilities' operations and infrastructure, and implements systems to keep that infrastructure secure, she says.

Due to the Florida incident, Kemp says officials are keeping "extra vigilance ... during this heightened period of concern" and also coordinate with law enforcement and other utilities to prepare for and respond to potential threats to the city's system.

"We also ask our customers to help by immediately reporting to local law enforcement any suspicious activity involving utility equipment or facilities," she says.

The city's water system spans hundreds of miles, extending from the western slope to the Pikes Peak area to the city's east side Bailey Water Treatment Plant, part of the $825 billion Southern Delivery System that brings water from Pueblo Reservoir.

Senior Reporter

Pam Zubeck is a graduate from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in 2009 joined Colorado Publishing House.