Damage to Main Canal Causes Temporary Shutoff of Irrigation Water in the Columbia Basin Project

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Stephanie Utter, (509) 750-7833

For Release: April 30, 2013

EPHRATA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation will temporarily reduce water deliveries today to irrigation districts in the Columbia Basin Project while engineers assess damage to the Main Canal just below Pinto Dam located in eastern Grant County, Wash.

Water flows in the canal must be reduced so work crews can get to the collapsed concrete panel and assess the damage. Flows were at 7,000 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) when the crack was reported by a canal ditch rider on Monday.

"We’re reducing flows in the Main Canal, and expect the canal to be at its lowest level by Wednesday evening," Ephrata Field Office Manager Stephanie Utter said. "While repairs are taking place there will be some disruption in water deliveries directly from the West and East Low Canals later this week."

People receiving water deliveries from the Quincy-Columbia, East Columbia, and the South Columbia Basin Irrigation Districts should also expect water deliveries to be reduced or interrupted through early next week, Utter said.

The canal will be monitored continuously as repairs are made and water flows are eventually restored early next week. Officials indicate that there is no immediate threat to public safety while this repair work is taking place.

Irrigators with questions should contact their respective water master offices.

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