For release: March 17, 2010
DEQ, Three Sisters Irrigation District Sign Agreement for Main Canal Piping Project
Project completion expected in 2013
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has signed an agreement with the Three Sisters Irrigation District for a $2 million Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan to construct pipelines to replace an open irrigation canal.
The canal is connected to Whychus Creek in the drainage area of the Deschutes River upstream from Lake Billy Chinook. The canal supplies irrigation water for approximately 7,500 acres.
Currently, Whychus Creek does not meet federal and state water quality standards for temperature because it is too warm to support habitat for bull trout, an endangered species, to live and reproduce. The pipeline project will restore water flow throughout the summer in Whychus Creek and that will result in lower temperature.
Currently the irrigation canal loses water because of seepage. The irrigation district will replace the existing canal with two buried pipelines made of high-density polyethylene.
The loan has a 20-year repayment term with no interest.
The Oregon DEQ Clean Water State Revolving Fund program loans money to public entities across the state, helping communities complete a variety of water quality improvement projects. Loans have ranged from $7,000 to $35 million. Oregon DEQ administers the program, which is supported from loan repayments along with annual grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.