West Extension Irrigation District does not allow swimming in its canals, either by people or animals. The water is very fast moving and it can pull you under. It is very hard to get out of the canal, because the sides are very steep and slippery. There may be herbicides and unknown run-off in the canal.
According to the Idaho CareLine, both children and adults drown yearly in irrigation canals and they report that more children drown in canals than any other body of water annually.
Canal water is very cold and fast moving. West Extension Irrigation District estimates the water flow in its Main Canal, which flows from Umatilla through Boardman, to travel about 1.5 miles per hour at 2.2 feet per second. A flow study was done earlier this year by putting agricultural dye in the canal to provide a visual of how fast the water travels. In 30 minutes, it was about a half mile away from where the dye was dropped.
Canal waters and roads adjacent to canals are not for public use. The canals in some cases are owned in fee (private property) or have a right of way held by irrigation districts, ditch companies or government entities. It is a trespass or encroachment to recreate within the width of the canal right of way.
Irrigation is the primary purpose of canals. The average depths of canals are between 1 to 10 feet deep and some have very steep vertical banks. Canals deliver irrigation water through all areas in Oregon. WEID’s Main Canal is 27 miles long, starting at the Three Mile Falls Dam.
The best way to be safe from canals is to stay away. It’s not only dangerous for children; it’s hazardous for everyone, including your pets. Stay out.
Otto Otter Coloring Books are available at the office. They use graphics in both English and Spanish to teach children about canal safety. Stop by the office for your free copy.
West Extension Irrigation District will be applying the aquatic herbicide “Argos” (liquid chelated copper) in its main canal over 2 days::
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (morning) Upper Canal (Phase 1 Inlet (East of Power Line Road) to Division)
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (afternoon) Middle Canal (Division to I-84)
Thursday, July 22, 2021 (morning) Boardman Canal (siphon to end)
Treatments will start at approximately 6 am and last for 6 hours.
Argos targets algae and is applied at the rate of 1 ppm for a 6 hour set. This low rate of application means there are no holding restrictions on the water. This compares to the Copper Sulfate Crystals which are applied at a 5-6 ppm rate and have lengthy holding time.
Please call the office with any questions at 541-922-3814.
The Board of Directors of West Extension Irrigation District will hold its Monthly Business Meeting on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. An Executive Session may be called pursuant to ORS 192.660 to discuss legal issues.
The board meeting will be held at Columbia Improvement District, 501 E. Columbia Ave., Boardman, OR 97818.
DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS, PUBLIC ATTENDANCE MUST BE ARRANGED IN ADVANCE BY CALLING THE OFFICE AT (541) 922-3814.
There will be no meeting in August.
Please call the office at (541) 922-3814 if you have any questions.