2907 South Maple Avenue

Fresno, CA 93725-2218

Fresno IrrigationPh. 559.233.7161

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Upgrade Work Again Shows Rapid Progress

April 2009

Three years after Fresno Irrigation District voters authorized $15 million in revenue bonds with $10.5 million going toward system-wide improvements, the District is wrapping up a second big winter Maintenance and Facility Upgrade Project construction season.

"We have completed numerous projects that will be of tremendous benefit to FID's water users," Assistant General Manager Laurence Kimura said. "The ultimate goal is to provide better water service to our constituents."

"We still have another year to go and maybe a fourth year," Kimura added.

This winter's varied improvement projects again included replacement facilities and repairs to the District's large and aging water system in order to retrofit existing regulating structures and delivery facilities.  Work has been undertaken by District crews as well as outside contractors.

Here is a summary of Maintenance and Facility Upgrade Project activities:

Outside Funding

FID has been successful in obtaining several grants from the state Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Most require matching funds from FID. These additional funds were made possible by property owners approving a supplemental assessment through a Proposition 218 election in December 2005. FID has obtained several grants over the past few years totaling close to $1 million, including two $300,000 USBR grants to help fund replacement of the Enterprise Canal-Fancher Creek flume project and the Enterprise Canal-Big Dry Creek siphon. A $250,000 grant was received for improved measurement at groundwater recharge and regulation basins. Several projects will also include funding from the Cities of Fresno and Clovis, and the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.

Improved Canal Regulation

FID has focused mainly on improving canal system regulating structures to improve water level control and grower service. FID elected to make use of long-crested weirs (LCW). FID crews have retrofitted 37 regulating structures with LCWs this past year. Most were installed on the District's south and west sides. LCWs allow a large flow rate to pass with a small increase in water surface elevation upstream of the check structure. The design is simple: provide more weir length to better control upstream water levels. Longer weir length makes it possible to pass the design flow rate with smaller heads (smaller water level changes). From an operations point of view, this will result in smaller flow changes into a lateral or landowner turnout. LCWs result in turnouts being relatively insensitive to canal flow rate changes, giving greater water delivery flexibility with less labor. Turnout or check board or gates will not have to be adjusted each time there is a flow change.

Failing Infrastructure Replacement

FID has replaced 5,650 feet (a little over a mile) of Silvia Canal system pipeline, ending the need for what had become increasingly frequent repairs that disrupted grower service. Last year, the system was shut down for a month with many growers missing one or two irrigations at the start of the season. Some 3,050 feet of 55-year-old 36-inch monolithic non-reinforced concrete pipeline (cast-in-place) was replaced with rubber-gasketed reinforced concrete pipe, south of Shields and Chateau Fresno Avenues. Another 2,600 feet of similar 30-inch cast-in-place pipeline northeast of Belmont and Monroe avenues was replaced with a 27-inch rubber-gasketed PVC Class 100 pipe. FID has over 680 miles of canals with 340 miles (50%) piped. In future years, FID will need to upgrade more pipelines. The District has some 130 miles (36% of total pipeline length) of non-reinforced pipeline at least 40 years old. Two thousand feet of concrete canal lining has been replaced on two small canals. These are the Briggs, northeast of Lincoln and Peach avenues, and the Washington Center Branch, southwest of Lincoln and Cherry avenues. Both have experienced frequent breaches.

Improved Regulation Basins

A contractor improved the Jameson Regulating Basin located near North and Jameson Avenues off the Lower Dry Creek Canal system. The improved design included a Langemann (overshot) gate valve in the canal, longer overpour weir into the basin, automatic gate valves in and out of the basin, and an improved measuring station located downstream. The site was added to FID's SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. The basin's key location flows to be re-regulated to growers downstream, reducing fluctuations. The basin is also used to capture storm water and improve groundwater levels. FID hired another contractor to scrape a portion of the basin where silt has accumulated.

Key Diversion Structure Improvements

A large Fresno Canal diversion structure was improved by a contractor at the East Branch Check located northeast of Olive and Riverbend avenues, a crucial site near where FID's two main canals, Fresno and Gould, are close together and linked by an intertie. This site will help FID move "fish flows" from the river and through the Fresno Canal and into the Gould system for delivery to the City of Fresno's Leaky Acres and groundwater recharge basins. The improved design included two Langemann (overshot) gate valves in the canal, automated undershot valves for the East Branch canal, a new measuring station on the East Branch canal, and an automatic gate valve on the Fresno-Gould intertie. SCADA control was added. FID installed another control site with a Langemann gate valve on the Houghton Canal at a headworks structure northwest of Nielsen and West avenues. This site will also be added to the SCADA systems.

Improved Lateral Measurement

A mace meter was installed at the Little Sandridge Canal headgate located near Ashlan and Vineland avenues. On the Thompson Extension headgate located near Nielsen and Floyd avenues, a new undershot gate valve was installed and will be a fully automated SCADA site. FID will focus on improving measurement on several District laterals throughout the water season.

Future Projects

FID is in the planning stages of the final year or two of projects, focusing on regulation basins at key locations, retrofitting regulating structures with more long-crested weirs and improving measurement on District laterals and some grower turnouts.

Last Updated Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 12:36 AM.