Tip List: MID Canal overflows onto property

May 17, 2012 

Renee Lopez and her husband moved to their house on South Arboleda Drive about a year ago.

The property has a canal that meanders nearby. They noticed that when the Merced Irrigation District released water into the canal, an irrigation pipe on the property would leak.

"We weren't really sure what was going on and then it kept happening," she said of the leak. It sends water across the property and floods the driveway, Lopez said.

The couple tried to get MID workers, who came to check on the canals, to do something five months ago. Lopez said they told her they would put in a work order but the problem hasn't been fixed.

The leaking happens whenever MID releases water for irrigation -- at least once a month, she said.

Lopez said she contacted MID officials who told her they didn't have the manpower to fix it right away -- and asked her to put in a work order.

She said no one from MID has contacted her.

Not only was the well leaking, but the canal itself began to leak water onto the property about a month ago. She worries that the standing water will begin to attract mosquitoes in the warm weather.

"It's getting worse," she said of the situation.

Mike Jensen, public information officer for MID, said there was an existing work order on file and that the leaks will be fixed on Thursday.

"We sincerely regret any inconvenience to the renter of the home," he said in an email.

Jensen said MID staff went to the residence Wednesday and the leak was directed back into the canal, which will be a temporary fix. "Once the canal is out of service and dry, we expect to make a permanent repair," he said.

He said MID maintains more than 800 miles of canals on a 100-year-old system.

"Repairs are typically prioritized by safety and demands for water use. In the winter months when the canals are dry, MID undertakes maintenance and capital improvement projects," he said.

What's the problem: A leaky irrigation system pipe that's flooded the driveway for the past year. Also, a nearby section of canal has leaked onto the property for about a month.

Who's responsible: Merced Irrigation District.

What's being done: There is an existing work order and the leaks should be fixed on Thursday.

Tip off the Tip List!

If you see something broken or in need of repair in your neighborhood, call the Sun-Star Tip List reporter, Ameera Butt, with your tips at (209) 385-2477 or email abutt@mercedsunstar.com.

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