NID completes the first phase of the crucial Combie Canal replacement project – under budget and ahead of schedule

March 25, 2020

Keeping infrastructure intact and functioning is important to efficient water delivery. For nearly 100 years the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) has kept the water flowing.

It was an especially good day for local water deliveries on Tuesday, March 24, when the first flow of water was sent through a stretch of new pipeline, vital infrastructure that will transport more than half of the District’s water deliveries from below the Combie Reservoir to customers in southern Nevada and western Placer counties. What’s more, the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

On Tuesday morning, water from Combie Reservoir was gradually introduced to the new pipeline, first entering the massive pipe as a brisk trickle and then a rushing stream, with water levels rising by the end of the day.

Chris Berg, NID construction inspector, observes the first flow of water into the new pipe.

NID is replacing the 50-year old Combie Canal, a flume along steep terrain above the Bear River, with 96-inch reinforced concrete pressure pipe. The total cost for the project is approximately $19.6 million. The first phase, brought online yesterday, replaces about 4,450 feet, about 0.84 miles, of canal. Second phase construction will begin in the fall.

This infrastructure is the primary water conveyance from Combie Reservoir, serving 3,693 raw water agricultural customers in southern Nevada and western Placer counties. The system also serves two treatment plants that provide water to 5,022 homes in Lake of the Pines and North Auburn communities. This system also serves as a secondary conduit for deliveries made through the Bear River Canal, including to 3,427 Placer County Water Agency customers in Lincoln.

Watch the first flow of water enter the large pipe here.

A Note Regarding the COVD-19 Virus – In the midst of growing fears about the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) wants to reassure the public that its treated drinking water is safe. NID’s treatment processes are specifically designed to protect the public from viruses and harmful bacteria. Further, the EPA has indicated that the risk to water supplies is low and Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.