Placerville, Calif. — On August 25, El Dorado Irrigation District staff learned that facilities within its El Dorado Hydroelectric Project flume and canal system sustained damage as a result of the Caldor Fire.
As soon as it is safe to do so, District crews will evaluate damages and begin the necessary repairs to return this vital water system back into service. EID will release additional information after evaluation of the damage.
The flume and canal system is a vital component of EID’s complex water conveyance system. The system delivers approximately one-third of EID’s drinking water supply to its customers. The canal and its flumes run through steep and often hard-to-reach terrain along the Highway 50 corridor.
“At this time we are asking all customers to do what they can to continue to meet the 15 percent voluntary water use reduction under the District’s ongoing Stage 1 Water Alert,” said EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie.
When the Caldor Fire broke out, District personnel began optimizing emergency water storage levels in its Forebay Reservoir in the event the canal and flume system was damaged.
The El Dorado Hydroelectric Project is owned and operated under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission License 184. It consists of four alpine reservoirs located in three different counties, a diversion dam on the South Fork American River near Kyburz, and 22 miles of canals, flumes, and tunnels ending in Forebay Reservoir in Pollock Pines. From there, up to 15,080 acre-feet of water is sent to a water treatment plant for consumptive use and the rest is sent down a penstock to the El Dorado Powerhouse to generate state-certified green electricity and then returned to the river.
The El Dorado Canal system is the primary means of supply to the northeastern portion of EID’s service area, including Pollock Pines and Camino, and also contributes significantly to supplying the rest of the service area by gravity. The Apple Hill and Gold Hill agricultural areas, the city of Placerville, and communities west of Placerville to Cameron Park and upper El Dorado Hills are served jointly by water from the El Dorado Canal and Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake.