SRP to begin winter canal dry-up this week - WFSB 3 Connecticut

SRP to begin winter canal dry-up this week

SRP crews relocate fish prior to the dry-up. (Source: SRP) SRP crews relocate fish prior to the dry-up. (Source: SRP)

Residents shouldn't be surprised if they see some area canals drained later this week.

Salt River Project will begin draining the southside canals Friday through Dec. 22.

It means many of SRP's southside irrigation customers will not receive water from the canals during the dry-up. The affected areas include Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler and south Phoenix.

It's all part of SRP's annual winter maintenance and construction activities to remove silt, replace concrete lining and repair gates. 

[Related: SRP canal dry-ups]

The dry-up of the South, Consolidated, Eastern, Tempe, Western and Highline canals on the south side of the Salt River marks the second year of a seven-year canal dry-up plan.

Herding and relocation of the weed-eating white amur fish is likely to last the first seven to 10 days. SRP now utilizes white amurs throughout its 131-mile Valley canal system.

SRP construction crews will be working primarily in a 10-mile stretch of the Consolidated Canal between Broadway and Queen Creek roads.

Crews will also use the southside dry-up to examine the canals and underwater structures to look for evidence of invasive adult quagga mussels. The mussels were discovered in SRP's canal system for the first time in July during a routine inspection, although both locations were in canals on the north side of the Salt River.

The rotational plan was implemented to dry up each canal segment once every seven years.

The 2013-14 plan allows for about 17 miles of canal to be drained, seven miles north of the Salt River from Jan. 10 to Feb. 9 in addition to the 10 miles south of the Salt River starting this week. The dry canal segments are not contiguous so that fish can be relocated in an efficient manner with minimal losses, SRP said. 

The seven-year plan was developed with cooperation by internal SRP departments, city representatives and representatives for major water contracts.

SRP stressed posted warning signs should be obeyed during the dry-up period.

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