K.I.D. says most customers will have irrigation service by the end of the month

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Though many customers of the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) expected to have service by now, the organization has changed its start date and says that most clients should see water by the end of the month instead.

KID detected more than 90 mainland repairs needed after startup season began on April 1st — the day KID’s water rights are available out of the Yakima River. Those repairs are crucial before servicing all their customers.

“We have a systematic start-up sequence that reduces the amount of property damage that would otherwise be occurring,” said Jason McShane, Engineering and Operations Manager with KID. “If you do your own sprinkler system, you kind of know how that can be. You always have some odds and ends that need to be repaired.”

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With over 25,000 accounts and 70 miles of open channel canals, KID has crews working seven days a week until all accounts are online. That includes days like today, where snow hit the Tri-Cities and broke records before 9 a.m.

“It’s a frustrating time for our customers for sure,” McShane said.

Many customers have expressed frustration, saying they’ve paid for services they aren’t receiving.

“KID is a flat-rate system for the entire year,” McShane said. “We don’t charge based on the number of gallons that you use, and so [you] pay the flat rate.

“The flat rate pays all the expenses of cleaning canals, power costs and all those things. If we’re not able to deliver water for a week, for example, that’s why those costs would remain,” McShane said.

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While we saw snow today, droughts in the future are still a possibility. KID officials are predicting that this year is going to be a “solid water year.”

But it’s dependent on a lot of factors. For instance, they must consider when the snow will melt and how much is melting. It also depends on where it melts — if the snowpack melts, but then drains to the west side of the state, the Tri-Cities won’t see any benefits.

“We don’t think that’s going to cause drastic pro-rationing amongst our customers this year,” McShane said. “But I do think it’s import for our customers to recognize that every year…we could be in a drought situation where people have to ration the water that they’re using.”

KID recommends preparing your lawn and gardens now for a future drought situation.

To check KID’s water deliver status map, click here.