Deer Creek and Timpanogas
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Association Activities

Provo River Aqueduct Update

The Provo River Aqueduct (PRA) has now been in service for seven irrigation seasons.  It is functioning very well and meeting expectations.  The 2018 season was one of many low-water years.  During these drought years, the pipeline served to deliver water without any leakage or evaporation losses that would ordinarily occur in an earthen canal.  In a low-flow season, canals are operated in a “checked up” state where the water is held back to flow more deeply and more slowly.  This condition is required for delivery out of turnouts.  This condition also contributes greatly to leakage and evaporation losses.  In some years the PRA has remained in service for up to three weeks after the end of the irrigation season to allow for maintenance to occur on the Salt Lake Aqueduct and the Jordan Aqueduct Reach 4.

The completion of the PRA allowed for the construction of the Murdock Canal Trail along the PRA corridor.  The trail, opened in May of 2013, has averaged over one million users per year. Bicyclists, walkers, joggers and various groups enjoy the trail year-round.  Events such as marathons and half-marathons utilize the trail as a part of their event route.  The Murdock Canal Trail connects to many other trail systems in the area.  

Posted: Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 at 10:56 am

Deer Creek Upgrades

The Association is in the middle of a series of upgrade projects at the Deer Creek Dam, Reservoir and Power Plant.  The projects to-date have included the replacement of the lighting system in the penstock tunnel and access way.  The penstock fill piping system was upgraded in order to prevent an age-related failure of that system.  The original 1958 overhead crane was modernized.  This crane will need to be in excellent condition for projects coming in the future.  

Projects currently underway include the replacement of hydraulic lines that are used to operate the penstock guard gates.  These hydraulic lines are being replaced to make the system safer, more efficient and reliable.  The Association has retained a contractor to replace the original 54” tube valves that have served as the main outlet valves since 1941.  This significant project will take over two years to procure and install the new valves.  Beginning in approximately 2021, the generator rotors and stators will be tested to see if a rewind for them is appropriate.  Finally, in a few years, the Association will commence active planning and design for a project to upgrade or replace the intake tower for Deer Creek Reservoir.  This project has the potential to have major impacts to Association shareholders and those who deliver water through Deer Creek Reservoir.

Posted: Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 at 10:55 am

Low runoff numbers make 2013 a dry year

While it has been widely reported that the runoff of 2013 is a healthy and normal one, this is not true for most of Utah and the Wasatch Front.  The Wasatch Front canyons did receive a normal amount of precipitation.  However, the moisture that falls in those canyons cannot be saved and is lost as soon as the runoff is over.  Much of the water used by the Salt Lake/Provo/Ogden area comes from behind the Wasatch Front in the Uinta Mountains, which provide a great portion of our water needs.  This water is captured by the Provo River Project and other similar water projects.  These projects are able to store this water in reservoirs such as Deer Creek, Jordanelle, Strawberry and others.  Because of the reservoirs, we are able to have a steady flow of water for our homes and yards throughout the year.

In 2013, the Uinta mountain snowpack for this year ranged around 70% of normal precipitation.  But the runoff is only going to amount to 50% or less, because of how much water is percolating into the ground.  It looks like the 2013 water year will go down in history as one of the driest.

Association staff is earnestly focused on maximizing water rights, collection and storage in order to provide the most water possible for its shareholders.  There has been and continues to be much coordination between the various water agencies and the Utah State Engineer’s Office to make sure the small amount of water available is utilized as effectively as possible and according to proper water rights.  Association operations and maintenance personnel are paying close attention to varying runoff rates, daily diurnal fluctuations, and the operating condition of all water collection and conveyance facilities.  Operators are on duty 24 hours a day to monitor conditions and make corrections as necessary using the SCADA System.  The Watermaster and maintenance personnel are out in the field making personal inspections and repairs to keep everything functioning properly.

The Association is grateful this year for the Provo River Aqueduct.  In prior low-water years, the Provo Reservoir Canal experienced a higher-than-normal canal loss rate due to the low velocity of the water.  The Aqueduct’s new welded-steel pipe prevents seepage and evaporation losses, regardless of the water available.  The Provo River Aqueduct is working as designed and is meeting its expectations.

Posted: Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 8:38 am

Winter Activities 2012 – 2013

The Association’s activities are currently focused in two primary areas: water operations and the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project (PRCEP).  The 2012 water year was below normal in precipitation and runoff.  In wet years, the entire water system functions more easily, but in dry years extra energy is required to make sure water gets where it needs to go.  Care is taken to make sure each water facility is functioning as efficiently as possible to prevent water losses.  At the end of each irrigation season and water year, Provo River Project facilities are taken out of service, drained and inspected.  These facilities are then prepared for the coming spring runoff, and an accounting is made of the various water uses during the year.

Association staff has been working to decommission the enclosed Provo Reservoir Canal (this facility is now referred to as the Provo River Aqueduct or PRA).  This work involved draining the pipeline, opening various access points and pumping remaining water out of the eight inverted siphons.  The pipeline and its various features are inspected and made ready for the next year’s irrigation season.

The PRCEP is nearly complete.  Some work remains to upgrade the Murdock Diversion in the mouth of Provo Canyon.  The diversion will feature a large trash and tree removal system referred to as a hydrorake.  It will also have four travelling screens to remove small material from the water that is entering the PRA.  The upgrade should be complete by January 2013.

The Association is also involved in a project to make improvements at the Weber-Provo Diversion located in Oakley near Kamas, Utah.

Posted: Monday, December 24th, 2012 at 10:07 am

December 2012

Operations and administrative personnel are completing the accounting for all the water collected, stored and distributed during the 2012 water year.  Work to complete and close out the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project (PRCEP) continues.  Additional work is underway to complete the transfer of title of the Provo Reservoir Canal corridor and facilities (now referred to as the Provo River Aqueduct or PRA) from the U. S. government to Association ownership.  This title transfer is expected to be completed later in 2013.

Maintenance personnel have been assisting the PRCEP contractor in preparing the PRA for its fall shutdown and final inspection.  They have also been working to prepare Project facilities for winter and next year’s spring runoff.


Posted: Monday, December 24th, 2012 at 10:03 am