At 1:00 p.m. today, the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) notified the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) that water diversions would be shut off at the Chandler Canal this evening. The USBR staff said the canal refilling process was estimated to begin within four days.
Due to the high water volumes from rain and snow melt, debris that was previously on the Yakima River banks is washing down stream and has clogged the fish screens in the Chandler Diversion Canal below Prosser Dam. Organic water-logged material, including sticks, wood chips, grass and tree bark that is too large to pass through, has become packed up to three feet thick on the screens. USBR personnel worked to clear the screens over the Memorial Day weekend, but debris is still preventing the screens from turning and causing pins to shear off.
To prevent further damage, USBR personnel will cut back the water, clean the screens and make necessary repairs. Water to the KID is expected to be turned off at the pumps for three to four days.
Once the water is turned back on, KID will begin refilling the canal system. As with seasonal start-up, it will take several days for the water to travel from the Chandler Pump Station outside of Prosser and fill all 88 miles of the KID canal system and 400 miles of pipe.
KID customers served by the Gage Pumps, wells, Elliott Lake or served via the Columbia Irrigation District will not be affected. Unaffected areas include PSAs 5, 6, 54, 82, 117, 161 East, 161 West, 178, 501 and the Gage Pumps.
Check the KID website, www.kid.org for updates. KID office hours, are 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Customer service can be reached at 509-586-9111 and an emergency/flood line is available 24 hours every day by phoning 509-586-8000.
Please remember to stay safe by keeping off of the canal maintenance roads and out of the canals and waste ways.