Storm water compliance

Hydro-Electric Canal Systems, Northern California

JJ&A developed a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and managed construction activities necessary to repair a portion of a hydro-electric canal system that was destroyed by a landslide. The canal is located in the Northern California foothills and provides irrigation water to local communities and businesses and is used to generate hydroelectric power. The emergency repair work required coordination with multiple regulatory agencies including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, State/Regional Water Board, Nevada Irrigation District, Placer County Water Association and other public and private stakeholders. Due to the project duration and location coverage was obtained under the CGP as a LUP Type 2 project.

Construction and Repair

The project site is located in a remote canyon near the town of Colfax. The Bear River flows through the steep canyon down gradient of the canal (100 to 300 feet below). A landslide below the canal caused the outer canal wall to collapse, allowing canal water to flow to the River further eroding the hillside. We developed and implemented a SWPPP concurrent with initial emergency access improvements. The dynamic nature of the project requires constant inspections to ensure storm water compliance. Roads were pioneered to gain access to the steep project site and allow repairs to be made. Crews worked 24-7 to stabilize the hillside using rock anchors and shotcrete to reconstruct damaged portions of the canal.

High-Profile Site

Due to the location of the canal repair and the number of private property owners, businesses, and agencies served by the canal, this high-profile project has received significant attention from the public, the press and the community. The Regional Water Board has inspected the site on several occasions and supported the storm water BMPs and stabilization methods being employed.