Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Avondale Project
Hay Field
Project Links
Project History
Project Data
Contact Information
Related Documents
Avondale Project History (31 KB) (pdf)
General Description| Plan| Development| Benefits

General Description

Rehabilitation of privately developed irrigation facilities on the 880 acre Avondale Project by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1954-1955 required the reconstruction of a pumping plant at the source of supply, Hayden Lake, and the construction of an elevated equalizing tank with a main water line and distribution system for sprinkler irrigation. However, the water source is now four deep wells drilled by the Avondale Irrigation District in lieu of pumping from Hayden Lake. Farming is on a part-time basis and subdividing continues since this is a popular resort area which also offers industrial employment.

Return to top


The water supply for the project had been pumped from Hayden Lake, which has a drainage area of 62 square miles, with an average annual inflow of 45,000 acre-feet. Three small irrigation districts, Avondale, Dalton Gardens, and Hayden Lake were using water from the lake.

In 1955, reconstructed facilities by the Bureau of Reclamation were placed in operation. These consisted of a pumphouse, two pumps, one 6,684-cubic-foot (50,000-gal) elevated steel equalizing reservoir, and 2,400 feet of 24-inch steel pipe for the main line, which delivered water to the distribution lines. Ninety-six irrigation turnouts were located so that a turnout was available for every 5 acres. Zoning valves and draining valves were subsequently installed for domestic water supply use.

The pumphouse, on Hayden Lake about 0.25 mile east of the district lands, houses two 6.7- cubic-feet-per-second capacity horizontal centrifugal-type pumps. The pumps are designed to operate against a total dynamic head of 215 feet. The discharge line is 24 inches in diameter and 450 feet long terminating at the equalizing reservoir which is about 130 feet and is equipped with automatic pump control facilities.

The State of Idaho, by court decree, issued a mandate that the water level of Hayden Lake is not to fall below 2,230.0 feet in elevation. This action was instrumental in the irrigation district's decision to develop a groundwater supply by drilling three deep wells in 1977. Two wells are 380 feet deep, 20 inches in diameter, and equipped with 350-horsepower pumps, each rated at 4.7 cubic feet per second. The third well is 405 feet deep, 16 inches in diameter, and has a 200-horsepower pump capable of producing 2.7 cubic feet per second. Total capacity of the three wells is about 12 cubic feet per second. A new 7,700-foot-long discharge line of 18- and 20-inch pipe delivers water from the three wells to the equalizing reservoir. These facilities replaced the pumping plant on Hayden Lake. However, the irrigation district has retained the Hayden Lake pumping plant as a standby facility.

A fourth well was acquired in the early 1990's and is looped into the distribution system. This well is 260 feet deep and is equipped with a 75-horsepower deep well pump rated at 1 cubic feet per second. In addition, a 700,000 gallon storage/regulating tank was constructed in the spring of 1990.

Sprinkler irrigation pressure is maintained at a minimum of 35 pounds per square inch at the farm turnouts. Meters have been installed at all turnouts, both irrigation and domestic.

Operating Agencies

Operation and maintenance is performed by the Avondale Irrigation District.

Return to top



Logging, mining, and construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad brought settlers to the Hayden Lake area during the 1880`s, expanding the market for local agricultural products. Although numerous irrigation schemes were promoted during the 1890`s to stimulate land sales, little in the way of irrigation construction was accomplished until after 1900. The Avondale development was one of several small irrigation ventures undertaken by private interests in this vicinity during 1900-1910. Like the others, it was developed as a fruit-raising area. The Avondale Unit originated in 1906 as the Avondale Stock Farms. It was organized in 1908 as the Avondale Irrigation Company, and a reorganization in 1912 established it as an irrigation district.

The original irrigated tracts consisted of 5 to 10 acres. Many of the tracts have been subdivided and resubdivided and only in a few instances have holdings been consolidated into ownerships exceeding 10 acres. Most of the tracts are now used as suburban residences or part-time farms and there are approximately 1,300 user accounts.


The original facilities, abandoned when the system was installed in 1954, consisted of a single pump having a capacity of 7 cubic feet per second, a 720-foot woodstave, low-pressure discharge line connected to a concrete pipeline, three small low-head wooden storage tanks, and a low-pressure pipe distribution system. The pumping plant was installed at Hayden Lake in 1922 on the foundation of one installed in 1906.

Several plans for rehabilitation and betterment of the irrigation system were studied and submitted to the district`s directors for selection of the most desirable plan to satisfy the needs of the water users.

The Avondale Irrigation District had been regarded initially by the Bureau of Reclamation as a possible unit of a much larger potential development known as the Rathdrum Prairie Project. The eastern divisions of this project consisted of three small irrigation districts that pumped their water supply from Hayden Lake-Avondale, Dalton Gardens, and Hayden Lake. The Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1954 designated the Avondale and Dalton Gardens Projects for separate reconstruction.

However, during the 1953 irrigation season, frequent failure of the 50-year-old irrigation system brought an appeal for reconstruction assistance. Each district submitted a separate plan for reconstruction since a greater delay would ensue if applications were submitted concurrently and separate reconstruction was authorized with the Avondale Irrigation District forming the Avondale Project, the Dalton Gardens Irrigation District, the Dalton Gardens Project, and the Hayden Lake Irrigation District becoming a `unit` of the Rathdrum Prairie Project.


The Department of Interior Appropriation Act, 1954, the Act of July 31, 1953 (67 Stat. 261, Public Law 83-172), authorized the emergency rehabilitation of the Avondale Project. Further emergency rehabilitation of the pipe system was authorized by the Act of September 22, 1961 (75 Stat. 588, Public Law 87-289). The authorized project purpose is irrigation.


Rehabilitation of the irrigation works began July 22, 1954, and was completed June 10, 1955. Emergency pipe rehabilitation work began in 1962 and was completed in 1964. The three wells were drilled and pumps were installed in 1977, with funds furnished by the irrigation district.

A fourth well was acquired in the early 1990's as part of an annexation. In addition, a 700,000 gallon storage/reregulating reservoir was constructed by the irrigation district in the spring of 1990.

Return to top



Although fruit production was the major enterprise during the early years of the Avondale irrigation venture, there has been a gradual shift to pasture and hay crops. Most of the farm units are operated on a part-time basis and are used to produce food for the family or as rural homesites.


The Avondale Project lands are adjacent to a popular resort and recreation area along Hayden Lake. There are many permanent residences along the lakeshore. Several nearby lakes and streams offer excellent recreation opportunities which attract tourists from all over the United States and Canada.

Return to top

Last updated: Dec 04, 2009