Since the beginning of the Chippewa Flood Control System, and during the past thirty-six years, an initial maintenance assessment was set up to cover maintenance costs. This funding did not keep pace with the times, and much of the needed maintenance could not be completed as planned. Without regular maintenance, some channel banks and berm became overgrown with woody vegetation, which made it difficult to maintain the channel or the many pipe structures installed for the purpose of draining the floodwaters. As trees grow, many lose limbs or fall into the channel causing log jams, bank erosion, and more localized flooding, due to the inability of the stream flow to get through the blockage.
Maintaining the 33 miles of channel helps to ensure that flood waters will recede from the land, quickly and efficiently. For more details - click on the Project map below to see the network of structures, pipes and channels.
Maintenance Activities must be done consistently to keep the Flood Control System working properly. Dams and channel berms must be mowed annually to manage woody growth, and provide access to allow for equipment and inspections. Visit our Dam Maintenance project to see a recent example of maintenance.
While maintenance is not glamorous, it speaks to the ability to manage and maintain the Chippewa Subdistrict Flood Control System so it performs as designed: a well-engineered combination of rainfall runoff storage structures (8 Dams) and improved channels (33 miles).
When the Chippewa channel was constructed, nearly 500 pipe structures were installed. These structures used corrugated metal pipes (CMP), which vary in diameter and length, and are an integral part of the System as they move runoff water safely into the channel. The CMP pipes have exceeded their lifespan and are being systematically replaced with superior quality pipe, such as high density polypropylene (HDPP) or high density polyethylene (HDPE). These new pipes are intended to last for many decades.
Special Projects vary each year and involve items of work that are outside the usual scope of maintenance. They are necessary to keep pace with new standards and regulations, as well as changes in the Watershed.
An example of a special project was the Dam Foundation Inspection that is critical to maintaining the long-term stability and effectiveness of the Dams.