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Letter to the Editor: Canals no longer handle flood control

By Sun Advocate

One of the last and very significant phases of pioneer history is becoming a thing of the past in Carbon County. For the past ten years there has been talk of sprinkle irrigation rather than flood irrigation in the county. The current canal irrigation system from Martin through Helper, spring Glen and into the northeast portion of Carbonville has been replaced with a new pressurized secondary irrigation system.
With the passing of that old canal system, comes a new “real” problem for Carbon County.
Flood control, snow melt and/or rain is a serious issue for Carbon County. The farming community has historically controlled flooding with their irrigation canals intercepting the natural topography, by gathering and diverting a vast portion of the flood water onto the farm land. However, entire canals in the aforementioned areas will be gone by the Fall of 2002. Along with those the head gates and respective laterals which were adjacent to those canals are also disappearing. Development of areas will also eliminate some of these laterals as time goes on.
It would appear the county planning and zoning office has never considered flood control in their equation for the design of the housing developments and the current road system. Many areas are now faced with the reality of flood control without the canal system. The county-is faced with establishing flood control in those areas of development which are geographically exposed to flooding. The County must now also retrofit a design to connect the upstream or high side intermittent borrow ditches of the roads to handle flood waters, and must have all undersized access culverts to private properties which are adjacent to the roads replaced to insure the flow is controlled and directed to disposal conduits to the Price River.
This problem is not going to go away, but will surely increase significantly, as now both the Carbon and Price/Wellington Canals are being considered for a pressurized system.

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