Snake River Should be Cleaner with Completed Water Project
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – A Magic Valley canal company has completed a water quality project five years in the making that should result in a cleaner Snake River.
Jay Barlogi, field supervisor with the Twin Falls Canal Co., says the project’s goal is to clean up sediment draining into the Snake River near Cedar Draw just north of Filer. Actual physical work on the Lateral 39/39A Water Quality Wetlands Project began in November of 2015.
“That particular drain into the Snake River was one of the worst drains we’ve got on the system and has been for many, many years,” says Barlogi.
The canal company has been working on a solution for the past five years and was able to receive partial funding from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Twin Falls Canal Co. Manager Brian Olmstead says half the money came from the government to offset the costs to the project. He says water quality projects usually take a lot of work and cost a considerable amount of money.
The company tries to do a similar project each year to help clean canal water coming from farm fields.
“We like to find the largest drainages that are affected by many, many water users and put these projects in. A lot of the responsibility of the water quality on the project has got to lie on the farm, with the farmer trying to keep the soil on the farm,” says Barlogi.
Olmstead says, “We can’t afford to wash away soild like we did for the first 100 years, because a lot of the farms have lost 20 percent or more of their topsoil, and anybody who’s dug a hole in Idaho knows that you’ve got about three or four feet of top soil and that’s all you got. So if you wash a foot of the away…you do that for many more years and you’re farming rock.”
In all, the series of ponds are expected to clean about 600 cubic yards of sediment out of the drainage. Barlogi says it also should clear about 60 percent of phosphorus and 50 percent of E.coli from waters that come off farmers’ fields.