Bethany-area aqueduct flow nearly back to normal

Department of Water Resources engineers and Teichert Construction Company crews have removed 90 per cent of the two temporary cofferdams built to facilitate repair of a section of State Water Project aqueduct just north of Bethany Reservoir.

BYRON, Calif., July 5, 2001 — Department of Water Resources engineers and Teichert Construction Company crews have removed 90 per cent of the two temporary cofferdams built to facilitate repair of a section of State Water Project aqueduct just north of Bethany Reservoir.

They anticipate a return to normal aqueduct operations by the end of the day tomorrow.

The Banks Pumping Plant is again pushing water south and the water level in a 1,200 foot canal section that was dewatered is now up to a depth of 26 feet, just two feet below its maximum.

Repair crews worked around-the-clock for 25 straight days to fix the breach with minimal disruption of deliveries to South Bay Aqueduct customers.

With the exception of several days of strong wind, workers enjoyed excellent weather conditions during the repair project. "We were fortunate to have a very qualified contractor, plus the experience of our own DWR engineers, and we were able to keep moving forward on every shift," said DWR Field Engineer Jim Peddy. "We could easily have been well into July before completion."

The leak was discovered June 5 after a local rancher reported two previously dry stock ponds had suddenly filled with water.

After workers temporarily plugged the 1,000 gallon per minute leak with concrete, a 1,200 foot section of aqueduct was dewatered to allow permanent repairs.

Those repair costs are estimated at about $3 million and will be paid by the water agencies with long-term contracts to buy SWP water, not the taxpayers.

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.

Visit DWR 's Web site at http://wwwdwr.water.ca.gov

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