Strong winds hamper aqueduct repair efforts in California

Strong winds over the weekend and rain on Monday hampered repair efforts at a dewatered section of State Water Project aqueduct just north of Bethany Reservoir but workers still hope to complete the job by early July.

BYRON, Calif., June 26, 2001 — Strong winds over the weekend and rain on Monday hampered repair efforts at a dewatered section of State Water Project aqueduct just north of Bethany Reservoir but workers still hope to complete the job by early July.

A 1,200 foot aqueduct section, near the town of Byron, has been pumped dry so workers can fix a thousand gallon per minute leak discovered June 5.

55 cubic yards of concrete plugged the breach June 6 but Department of Water Resources engineers felt permanent repairs were necessary to prevent possible major damage to the canal and embankment. Teichert Construction Company crews are working around-the-clock.

On June 20, DWR personnel, a crew from the California Conservation Corps, and crane operators from Teichert rescued 193 fish before completely draining the aqueduct section between temporary cofferdams.

A dozen pumps are currently transferring water from the Central Valley Project's Delta-Mendota Canal into the State Water Project aqueduct at the rate of 100 cubic feet per second. (The CVP is receiving an equal amount back from the SWP's San Luis Reservoir.)

The SWP is meeting deliveries to South Bay Aqueduct customers via modified operations on the system. That includes releasing water from Del Valle Reservoir, located several miles south of the City of Livermore. Del Valle's swimming beaches have been impacted but boat ramps and picnic areas remain operable.

No other SWP deliveries are expected to be affected by the repair project. Repair costs are paid by the water agencies with longterm contracts to buy SWP water, not the taxpayers. Repair costs are estimated at about $3 million.

The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.

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