By Lyonel Doherty
Farmers will soon be able to start planning for the irrigation season.
On Monday, the Town of Oliver approved the canal diversion start date as Monday, April 9, and the irrigation start date as Friday, April 13.
Director of Operations Shawn Goodsell said staff will be behind in canal cleaning and maintenance this year because of the winter weather.
“We were finding that the weather was not cooperating.”
He noted staff usually start this maintenance by late February.
Goodsell said diverting water from the canal should start on April 9. He added the canal usually takes about four days to fill properly. This includes staff checking different sections of it.
Irrigation service turn-on will start on April 13. Goodsell said it takes several days to reach all customers, so many may not see water until that weekend or early the following week.
Goodsell said long-term weather forecasts show that temperatures may stay a little cooler until mid-April.
“Staff have found that there is still some ice in the canal system.”
He pointed out that irrigation users still need to be cognizant of the damaged siphon at Gallagher Lake, which restricts normal volumes of water in the system. A permanent fix is still planned.
“The Town of Oliver may have to enforce an odd/even or rolling system shut-downs for watering if the weather is a drier and hotter summer,” Goodsell said.