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EID Teams Complete Emergency Canal Repairs under Challenging Conditions
EID’s canal and flume conveyance system delivers approximately one-third of EID’s drinking water supply to its customers. Workers from the district’s hydroelectric division patrol the 22-mile canal at least three times a week, always on the lookout for unsafe and hazardous conditions.
On Friday, March 4, an employee patrolling a section of the canal identified a void in the canal bench, indicating a potentially serious problem.
“When the area was opened up to investigate the extent of the problem, water could be seen flowing from the canal through the bench section,” said EID Hydroelectric Manager Dan Gibson. “At that point, the water level in the canal was brought down to avoid any further erosion and to prepare for the emergency repairs.”
The EID repair crew excavated a 30-foot-long by five-foot-wide section of the canal bench to a depth of four feet in order to find good competent material to stabilize the bench and repair the canal.
“The remote location of this leak created access problems for using heavy machinery like an excavator,” said Gibson. “Weather was also a factor and posed additional challenges—rain and some snow added complexity to the repair. Using a helicopter to transfer the equipment was ruled out due to the bad weather.”
Ultimately, the repair team used a small excavator borrowed from EID’s waste water division. The crews placed the mini-excavator in the dewatered canal and drove it to the repair site. Three canal pedestrian bridges had to be raised so the excavator could pass. A ramp had to be constructed over Spillway 10 so the excavator could safely cross.
The repair effort took over 20 hours to complete and workers mixed 320 bags of concrete to fix the leak and stabilize the canal bench.