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EID Board Adopts Emergency Declaration

Post Date:02/14/2017 2:45 PM

News Release Mast

Contact: Jesse Saich, Public Information Officer, (530) 642-4127,

Placerville, Calif. — During a special meeting held on February 13, 2017, the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) Board of Directors adopted a resolution declaring an emergency to address damaged District facilities. The emergency was called in response to the intense rainfall that has saturated soils, overwhelmed sewer facilities and caused collapses, soil failures, and earth movement affecting vital District infrastructure and threatening to disrupt the District’s ability to provide essential public services.

The emergency declaration allows EID staff to take necessary measures to complete temporary repairs and hire the engineers and contractors needed for immediate remediation efforts.

Soil Collapses and Failures

From January 6 through February 11, 2017, 21 distinct soil collapses, failures, and slides have impacted the District’s hydroelectric and water transmission systems. Three major soil collapses will require remediation that is likely to take multiple months to complete.

 Canal collapse west of Flume 10

In one collapse near EID’s Flume 10, a 60-foot section of canal located 26 miles east of Placerville was breached when soil and debris blocked the canal. With the breach, approximately 160 feet of canal bench collapsed. District crews have already begun the steps necessary to build access to the site in order to begin efforts to dewater and stabilize the slope.

Another collapse is affecting Flume 5, where approximately 1,500 cubic yards of saturated soil is collapsing onto the flume section. The material is being held by the flume, with part of the walkway broken by the pressure. The remote site will require helicopter access for equipment and supplies and will require removal of several sections of flume to remediate the affected hillside.

A third collapse of soil material has the potential to affect the 24-inch Moose Hall water transmission main that delivers water in Pollock Pines. This repair will require significant trench stabilization and hillside restoration.

Sewer System Emergencies

In addition, three areas in the sewer system collections system have necessitated emergency actions

 Crews replacing sewer pipe in the Town Center Force Main

The Town Center Force Main, which has seen seven breaks since 2014, had another break along Mother Lode Drive. In 2016, the District began designing the replacement of a large section of the Town Center Force Main, and expects to construct the project later this year. Recent storm activities have saturated the ground surrounding the pipe which has exacerbated its rate of failure and necessitated immediate action. “The pipe is in such a state of failure that the most recent breaks required immediate replacement of nearly 400 feet in order to connect to stable pipe,” said EID Director of Operations Margaret Washko. 

Emergency pumping at the El Dorado Lift Station was required during the intense rain of the past weeks. The intense rain overwhelmed the pumps at this wastewater lift station and the nearby equalization pond was filled to regulatory capacity. Contract pumping and truck hauling was needed to avoid a violation of wastewater regulations.

Emergency pumping and hauling was also needed for the Camino Heights wastewater treatment facility in order to stay within regulated discharge rates. Without the emergency pumping done so far, EID has avoided potentially costly regulatory fines.

“EID’s crews in the field and staff at headquarters have done a tremendous job in safeguarding public health and safety,” said EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie. “We at EID appreciate our community’s patience and understanding as we tackle some very complex fixes.”

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EID is a public agency dedicated to providing high quality water, wastewater treatment, recycled water, hydropower, and recreation services in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner.

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