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Front Page » November 7, 2006 » Local News » Lawrence irrigation project makes improvements to ponds
Published 3,759 days ago

Lawrence irrigation project makes improvements to ponds

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Dam safety has determined the work completed meets all standards and the ponds are deemed useable again.

Lawrence South Irrigation Company, Inc. stockholders and its present board of directors, including David Shorts president, Clark Christensen, vice president, Ty Wilson, treasurer, Earl Cullum and Rick Cullum, board members announce approval and authorization to once again use the two sprinkler-system regulating ponds as originally planned and designed.

On Sept. 26, LSIC Board members met with Utah state dam safety engineer, Bret Dixon at the pond sites to inspect and evaluate the re-work recently completed by NELCO Construction of Price under supervision of RB&G Engineering of Provo. Pond reconstruction became necessary following initial system use during the 2003 irrigation season when serious water seepage and erosion became evident.

These unsafe conditions prompted the Utah state water engineer to impose a moratorium curtailing use of the larger number two pond prior to the 2004 irrigation season. Since then, LSIC users have depended on the smaller noumber one pond to regulate their water usage during the past three irrigation seasons. This situation has not only impacted the system's ability to supply water but crop production levels as well.

During the 2005 irrigation season the state water engineer deemed a re-work of pond one necessary, again due to bank erosion. This work, including rip rap placement as well as re-sloping and road base placed on the dam crest, was completed just prior to the 2006 irrigation season; so use of pond one was available for the 2006 season.

Re-construction of pond two began mid August 2006 and included: reducing the embankment height resulting in a reduction of storage capacity; flattening the abutment slopes; blanketing the reservoir basin with a compacted clay liner; placing riprap slope protection on the upstream face of the embankment; sloping the dam crest toward the reservoir basin and placing a layer of road base on the crest; installing a drainage trench at the toe of the dam to collect seepage; and modifying the spillway inlet to accommodate the new high water level.

Per instruction of Utah dam safety, an initial filling and piezometer monitoring schedule has been outlined and implemented by RB&G Engineering and will be maintained through 2007. Following state approval of the monitoring schedule, test filling of pond two began on Oct. 4.

While the largest portion of the re-construction is complete there remain a number of issues that will be addressed during the next few weeks and throughout the 2007 irrigation season.

LSIC was incorporated in 2002 as a non-profit tax exempt entity with approximately 30 stockholders. A salinity project funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and Natural Resources and Conservation Service for construction of a sprinkler irrigation system, serving about 750 acres and utilizing 4,355 Huntington Cleveland Irrigation Company water shares, was initiated in 2002. Closeout requirements for completion of the salinity project were met and accepted by the BOR in October, 2005.

LSIC board of directors acknowledges the work accomplished and is pleased with the new pond designed by RB&G Engineering and the reconstruction completed by NELCO Construction. They feel both companies have done an excellent job on this project.

The board very much appreciates the patience, cooperation and especially the financial support of the majority of its stockholders.

The past four years have held many frustrations and challenges for the company and its members, including some very expensive litigation, which ultimately led to the re-work of these ponds.

The outcome, however, is a properly functioning set of regulating ponds as was originally called for in the sprinkler system design.

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