CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

In the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown has issued a series of Executive Orders, including the most recent March 23, 2020 “Stay Home, Save Lives” order. Irrigation districts and similar entities are not among businesses required to close/ however, we do need to implement social distancing procedures, allow for telecommute options where feasible, and implement other precautionary measures.

The West Extension irrigation District has closed its office to the public. Payments may be made through the mail, a maildrop slot in the door or by telephone (credit card fee rates apply). CASH IS NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED. Most issues can be handled by telephone or email. If an “in person” appointment is required, please call ahead to set up such an appointment.

Office Telephone: 541-922-3814

Email: info@westextension.com

Emergency cell phone (after hours and on weekends): 541-314-0005

For the safety of our crew, they are asked to maintain a six-foot distance from the public. If you need to talk with a ditchrider, please call the office and ask to have a call returned. We prefer that phone calls be the first method of communication. If you are talking directly with a ditchrider, please stay six feet away and keep the conversation to a minimum. If you need an appointment with a ditchrider, call the office to request an appointment and it will be scheduled at the earliest convenience.

Water Startup: Typically, the prison work crews (crews) have prepared the open laterals in Boardman for water. That did not get done this season as the crews were called to Pendleton for the flooding, then they were shutdown due to the coronavirus safety orders. Thus, the WEID personnel are completing the cleaning and preparation of the open laterals in Boardman. Keeping the safety of our personnel in mind, we are working limited overtime hours and not bringing in extra supplemental laborers. We are assuring that our crews get the time they need for their own family protection and safety. This will slow down water startup. The Boardman laterals will open up one by one over the next ten days. Then, we will move into Irrigon and Umatilla to start up the various pump stations, then back to Boardman for the remaining pump stations. This will be done while running water and responding to calls, so will likely take 3-4 more weeks to complete.

How Can You Help: We will try to call irrigators on systems when we are starting up their systems. Please call or email your phone number as we may not have a current listing for you.

Make sure your valve is working before water starts by exercising it. Then, close it for start-up. Do not close the District valve (the one closest to the mainline). If you don’t have a two-valve system, then you should install your valve right away. There is time before start-up. You can open your valve when water arrives “slowly” to bleed any air out of your lines. If you have a leak, shut down and repair it. If you are on an open ditch, inspect the ditch before taking water and keep it free of debris while you are running water.