Irrigation Season

Canal Cleanup and Safety

Posted by Karen Ray
April 29, 2020

During this time of extra care and societal distancing, EBID’s essential ditchriders are still fulfilling their critical role of managing irrigation orders and driving canals to ensure there are no safety or maintenance problems. The District’s hundreds of miles of canals present a challenge and EBID asks for the public’s cooperation in keeping them free of people and clean. Water orders will be delivered through these canals and ditches, presenting a potential danger to people camping or loitering in the system. Trash dumped in the canals can become a safety hazard by causing water to back up and overflow the banks, creating flooding problems.

Here are some things to watch out for and report to EBID offices:

*  trash in the canals (mostly within city limits: furniture, mattresses, shopping carts, etc.)

*  people living in the canals, drains and some of the box structures (mostly within city limits)

*  illegally dumped hazardous materials (i.e., needles) within city limits

Hot weather coincides with the advent of cooling water in the canal system during irrigation season. This year, with kids out of school and many people at home, makes it critical that families have that safety talk with their children. Don’t play in the canals and ditches, it is dangerous! Undercurrents and metal gates can become a life-threatening hazard to people in the water. Canal walls, both dirt and concrete, become slippery and can make it extremely difficult to climb out. Please be aware that bacteria in the irrigation water and fertilizers delivered through the water in the canals are all dangerous to human beings.

EBID works hard to ensure public safety, but we need your help. Have your kids watch our canal safety video on our FaceBook page and talk with them about the dangers. Encourage alternative ways to stay cool. Trash goes in the can or recycle bin, not canals, the desert or anywhere else. Larger items should be disposed of at recommended sites around the city and county.

The upcoming weeks are the ideal time to tackle your ditch maintenance needs before flat-rate watering begins. Think of it as your Ditch Cleaning Exercise Routine! We guarantee you’ll build some shoulder muscles and get a good dose of sunshine. EBID is responsible for maintaining canals, laterals and drains, not these smaller ditches that deliver water to fields and homes. Property owners need to clean these smaller delivery systems themselves prior to irrigation to provide efficient delivery and prevent ditch overflow problems.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in keeping our community safe and irrigation water flowing efficiently. If you have questions, please contact EBID at (575) 526-6671 or check out their FaceBook page or website at for information throughout the season.