News Release Archive

Reclamation to begin maintenance activities on the Bypass Canal

Media Contact: Doug Hendrix, 702-293-8391,
Patti Aaron, 702-293-8189,

For Release: September 03, 2019

Yuma, Ariz. – Reclamation announced today that repairs to the U.S. Bypass Drain, which carries irrigation drainage water from farming operations in the Wellton and South Gila valleys to the Yuma Desalting Plant and on to the Ciénega de Santa Clara, will begin on September 5.

Targeted as a high-priority project for completion this year, Reclamation has hired a contractor to begin work along the Bypass Canal in the United States. Work will include the removal of existing sediment and debris inside the canal, replacement of damaged concrete panels, patching of headwalls and replacement of damaged safety ladders.

This work has been coordinated with Mexico through the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, and will include monitoring of water flows, wildlife and vegetation in both countries.

During construction, Reclamation will temporarily divert canal flows around the construction site into the Limitrophe below Morelos Dam at the Main Outlet Drain Extension (MODE) 3 diversion structure for a period of approximately 120 days (through the end of 2019). The public is encouraged to avoid construction areas to ensure safety. The water to be discharged is composed entirely of return flows from irrigated agriculture. Therefore, the water is not potable. The public should not drink the water, nor should it be used for swimming. Signs to alert the public to avoid contact with the irrigation return flows for the remainder of 2019 will be installed along the Colorado River.

Any questions about the upcoming project should be addressed to Mr. Christopher Wallis, Resource Management Chief, Bureau of Reclamation, 7301 Calle Agua Salada, Yuma, AZ 85364. Questions can also be submitted by e-mail to:

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.