Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeUncategorizedBig Project in Downtown Susanville to Line Old Irrigation Channel

Big Project in Downtown Susanville to Line Old Irrigation Channel

By Jeremy Couso

If you’ve been downtown lately there’s no doubt you’ve seen the massive project underway to line the old irrigation channel from the Susan River on the west, to just east of Main Street near Johnstonville Road. Equipment and materials for the massive endeavor are staged on Riverside Drive near the Hall of Justice as the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District makes some pretty major improvements to the century old channel.

Funding for the project came from Department of Water Resources through their 2021 Urban and Multi-benefit Drought Relief Grant Program.

“This funding was secured to help increase water conservation and use, along with water quality for Old Channel/Jensen Slew water users within the Susan River Watermaster Service Area and Honey Lake ecosystem,” explains HLVRCD spokesperson Andrea Stuemky.

This will be done by running the irrigation water through an enclosed pipe, while leaving the current channel open for stormwater management during flood events.

Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District Project Detail

According to Stuemky the Old Channel Lining Project, which is expected to be completed this spring, provides significant water conservation by re-establishing and piping 2,415 feet of the irrigation channel – known as the Old Channel.

“Piping 2,415 feet of the irrigation channel will provide water reliability, quality, and resiliency during normal and drought conditions.”

Before the project began the old channel was unlined, obstructed by heavy vegetation and the earthen canal experienced an estimated annual water loss of 455 acre-feet.

“Willows, other vegetation, and sandy soils contribute to the high water losses during the irrigation season, reducing flows to irrigators and eventually to Honey Lake’s critical habitats,” explains Stuemky.

“The Honey Lake Valley groundwater basin will also be aided by water conservation and water quality improvements, which will help the region’s overall surface and groundwater health. The project will improve water quality by filtering stormwater, using new stormwater pretreatment structures – referred to as oil-water separators, that currently runs into the Old Channel unfiltered.”

According to Stuemky the unlined channel carries harmful pollutants and contaminants to the critical habitat at Honey Lake as well as farmers’ fields and crops. The pollutants and contaminants come from the unfiltered storm drain and drop inlets from city streets, old pollution plumes from petroleum plants, and commercial parking lots bordering the channel.

The project will also provide a recreational opportunity by allowing walking access along the Honey Lake Valley RCD’s newly established maintenance road.

“Overall, the Old Channel project provides irrigation water reliability, drought resiliency, water quality improvements, and recreational opportunities for walking and biking for our community.”

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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