FID - BEHIND THE SCENES
CONSTRUCTION & MAINTENANCE CREWS
A CENTURY OF CONVEYANCE,
COMMITMENT & CUSTOMER SERVICE
With over 700 miles of canals, pipelines, and associated structures, Fresno Irrigation District’s construction and maintenance crews are critical to ensuring proper deliveries during the water season. As the irrigation season winds down, the Water System Operators (WSOs) are transitioned to construction and maintenance positions, joining the year-around crews charged with keeping the water between the banks. The construction and maintenance season is referred to as the OFF-SEASON, typically beginning in the late summer or early fall and continuing until water deliveries are resumed in late winter or early spring. FID knows this is one of the busiest times of year when key infrastructure improvements are made, new facilities are constructed, and essential maintenance is performed, leading to over 100 successful water delivery seasons and many more to come.
NEW PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION
Each year, FID replaces a percentage of the problematic sections of pipe throughout the District. Many of the existing pipelines are over 50 years old and have reached the end of their useful life. Construction of new pipelines helps minimize water delivery interruptions during the water season.
PIPELINE AND STRUCTURE REPAIR
Maintenance crews spend a signif-icant amount of time inspecting and repairing pipelines observed during the water season as leaking or in need of repair.
Aquatic and terrestrial weeds are a huge concern because they can significantly restrict the flow in canals and restrict canal access to FID crews, respectively, if not properly controlled. As such, FID crews spend time year-around surveying the various canals and ensuring weed growth is controlled within and along the banks of the canals.
Ensuring the canal embankments and sloped sides are properly maintained minimizes the risk of failure during the high flow periods
of the irrigation season.
Installation of concrete linings along problematic sections of FID canals protects the integrity of the canal banks and helps prevent canal breaks.
Removal of trash, weeds, and other debris from FID’s canals is a critical maintenance activity which keeps FID crews busy year-around. Many of FID’s canals flow through urban areas, contributing to the growing problem of debris/trash finding its way to the canals. On average, crews remove about 490 tons of trash per year. Don’t Trash The Water.
NEW STRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION
Along every canal and pipeline are numerous structures used to control water flow and divert water to customers. Whether the new structures are found on-site are pre-cast concrete structures, getting these new structures in place during the construction season provides for better deliveries and an overall improved customer experience.
Turnout gates control the flow from the main canal system to individual grower sites. With over 4,000 customer turnouts in FID’s system, there is no shortage of repairs on these critical valves during the maintenance season.
Dredging and scraping involves the removal of sediment at the bottom of the canal to return the canal to its original design to improve its flow.
FID Brushing Crews stay busy along FID's canal banks ensuring trees and shrubs do not restrict canal flows or access along canals.
Installation of loose stones and rocks are placed in the earthen channels to protect the banks and canal structures against erosion. Each year, FID crews place tons of stone in key locations as a defense against erosion.
ALL-WEATHER ACCESS ROADS
FID routes the region’s stormwater through its canal system and it conducts maintenance activities that happen year-round. Ensuring canals and other critical sites are accessible in all weather conditions is why our crews install all-weather roads along canal banks. The placement of gravel ensures crews do not get stuck when doing daily checks, even on the rainiest of days.
FID has over 720 acres of ground-water recharge basins at 31 locations throughout its service area. Proper maintenance of these basins, including scraping/discing the dirt at the bottom, ensures maximum recharge is occurring when water is placed in the basins. Additionally, FID crews address aquatic and terrestrial weeds, grade the roads and sides of basins, and control erosion by placement of rip-rap on the slopes.
FID has a fleet of over 118 vehicles (90 on-road and 28 off) and many pieces of heavy equipment, which must be properly maintained to protect the investment in this equipment. The maintenance shop features skilled full-service mechanics responsible for metal fabrication and maintenance of all of the meters, the heart of FID’s telemetry system, among other things.