Inspection Finds Surplus Canal Levees "Unacceptable"

Nov 1, 2013

  An inspection by the Army Corps of Engineers has found the levees along the Jordan River Surplus Canal are in “unacceptable” condition.  But Salt Lake County is promising to bring them back up to standard. 

The surplus canal carries excess water from the Jordan River from 21st South to the Great Salt Lake.  It was built in 1910 and plays an important role in Salt Lake County’s flood control system.

The Corps of Engineers’ most recent inspection showed depressions in the levee banks, damage from erosion and uncapped storm drains that could carry water into neighborhoods, among other problems.  It’s put the system on inactive status, which means it won’t help to repair them in the future if they fail during a flood.

Scott Baird with Salt Lake County Public Works says they’re planning to spend 600-thousand dollars next year to bring the levees back to acceptable condition, and some of that work has already begun.

“Our crews have gone out and removed some vegetation," Baird told a conference call with reporters.  "We’ve made some repairs to the banks where some of that erosion has taken place.  The things where maybe we’ve got to work with other agencies and property owners, those are the things we think are gonna take a bit more time.”

The Corps says there’s no imminent danger of flooding because of the levee’s condition, and they did a good job handling high water in 2010 and 2011.