Kennewick Irrigation District declares emergency as thousands are unable to access irrigation water

KENNEWICK, Wash. — If you haven’t been able to access your irrigation water lately, don’t worry — you’re not alone.

Currently, about 1,500 of the Kennewick Irrigation District’s (KID) 25,000 customers across the Tri-Cities are affected by an “unprecedented number of broken main lines,” according to a news release.

“We’ve probably seen an excess of four times the amount of emergency repairs that need to be made this year due to damages from another party,” said Jason McShane, KID’s engineering and operations manager.

Typically, it takes around two to three weeks to flush, fill and charge the KID system. But due to “telecommunications installations that have been installed sometime between when the system was turned off in November and this spring,” it’s taking longer than normal.

To try and relieve some of these problems, KID has officially declared a state of emergency for its 2022 irrigation season in order to gain additional help.

“In the springtime when we turn it back on we find a number of repairs that need to be made,” McShane said.
It’s a critical thing for us to be able to get the system up and online.”

McShane said this is the first time in a number of years the district has had to issue an emergency declaration.

Now, outside crews are helping KID employees, working “steadily and overtime” to help bring irrigation water access back.

“As for budget concerns, the costs of these repairs will be taken from the Risk Management Mitigation Fund… and will have no effect on assessments,” the release said.

Officials said they are hoping to have most of the systems up and running by the end of next week.

To view KID’s water status map, click here.

For more information, click here.