Irrigation Frustrations: Neighborhood Looking For Answers After Yards Get Flooded

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

A Grand Junction neighborhood says for nearly a month, an irrigation pipe that runs under their homes has been leaving their yards under water. But giving them an even bigger headache -- the fact that they can't get anyone to fix it.

Mike Davison has lived on E 1/2 Rd for years. He says in that time, he's never seen his yard look anything like what it has looked like recently -- flooded with several inches of water. Looking at half his yard under water, he calls this one of the better days.

"This is minor," said Davison. "It was at least three or four inches of standing water and it's probably been just ten feet away from the foundation of the house."

And he says the problem extends far beyond his lawn. His neighbors have had standing water up the length of their driveways and he's watched cars make quick maneuvers just to get around the water on the road.

"It was so bad this weekend the water was actually crossing the road to the properties on the other side," said Davison.

An underground pipe that transports used irrigation water back to the Colorado River runs directly in front of his house along the road. Davison says he's called everyone from irrigation districts, to drainage districts, and even the Mesa County government. And while plenty of people have been willing to listen, no one seems willing to take action.

"Nobody seems to want to have any ownership with who owns the pipe and whose responsibility it is for the water that's backing up in the yards," said Davison.

But County officials say they and the irrigation districts can't take ownership because that water is not theirs. Officials with the Mesa County Department of Public Works were unable to do an on camera Tuesday because of scheduling issues, but they tell 11 News over the phone the legal responsibility to make sure those pipes are flowing correctly lies with the water owner -- or in this case, whoever has the rights to the irrigation water before it makes its way through those pipes.

The County says it can only get involved when the blockage creates a public safety issue on the roads. They add it is illegal for owners to cause or allow irrigation water to flow onto roads and highways.

While Davison says that's useful information, it still doesn't fix his problem.

"It's frustrating," said Davison.

And now he's left scratching his head, trying to come up with something else.

"I'm thinking you know, do I need to put sandbags along the road," said Davison. "It seems to be a recurring problem and doesn't seem to get solved or remedied."

County officials say they've also recommended turning to the 521 Drainage Authority for help. They say one of the group's purposes is to protect people and property from flooding, and they can help facilitate discussions between the appropriate people in these instances.

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