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Trash along canals is becoming a big problem

Posted: 3:19 PM, Aug 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-10 21:45:57-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The Treasure Valley Water Users Association wants people to know that the canal or ditch next to their backyard is not a convenient trash disposal system.

“We find household trash, grass clippings, tree limbs, tires, batteries, and quite a few old televisions. When waterwas coming in this year, we found a pile of trash that consisted of tv’s, mattresses, coffee tables and a recliner. It would’ve been a real mess had the ditchrider not made an additional trip ahead of the water being turned in and cleared it all,” said Mark Zirschky, Pioneer Irrigation District water superintendent.

The waste floats down the canals and begins to build up as it lodges against trash racks, which creates a potential for serious flooding and damage to property. It can also reduce the amount of water available to downstream users who have paid for the use of their irrigation water.

“Our ditch riders are checking the system every day just to keep the racks free of trash and it is consuming more and more of their time. It is also a problem when people dump debris onto an easement or right-of-way (usually over a fence) that may be above or near a canal or ditch, and then the debris eventually ends up into the water,” noted Roger Batt, executive director of the Treasure Valley Water Users Association.

The amount of residential landscaping waste being dumped into canals has been growing steadily with the population expansion in the Treasure Valley.

Batt also said, "It's all about being a good neighbor to others. Remember, you live downstream from someone else who may be doing the same thing."