Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Broken Siphon's New Temporary Pumping Solution Is Successful


On Monday, March 13, the MRGCD completed a successful test of the temporary pumping solution for the Corrales Siphon, following a broken pipe in 2022.


“This temporary pumping operation pulls water right out of the river and delivers it into the canal where the siphon outlet would be. It cannot provide the same volume the siphon can, but we think it provides an operational volume to satisfy the demand for this year,” said MRGCD CEO and Chief Engineer Jason Casuga.


When the pipe broke in 2022, the MRGCD quickly realized it could not be fixed in time to guarantee water delivery to irrigators and installed diesel pumps as its initial temporary solution.


“Last year, we had diesel pumps. They were more inefficient and required a lot more inspection and maintenance. It also put diesel right next to the Bosque,” said Casuga.


This year, the MRGCD completed a project with PNM that brought power to the site of the Corrales Siphon, allowing the use of electric pumps.


“This year we were able to complete a project with UNM to bring power to this location and now we’re able to use electric pumps. They will be quieter than the diesel pumps, provide more reliable service, and eliminate having diesel a stone’s throw away from the Bosque,” said Casuga.


Casuga says this will ensure irrigation water delivery to the entire irrigating community of Corrales as well as a portion of Albuquerque irrigators on the westside of the Rio Grande. However, this is still not the permanent solution.


“This is still a temporary pumping operation. We have sought funding through the Water Trust Board to build a new siphon, underneath the river, and we are continuing to move those efforts forward,” said Casuga.


Casuga expects the electric pump to be in place for the 2023 and 2024 irrigation seasons. “I believe we will have the permanent siphon in place by the start of the 2025 irrigation season,” said Casuga.






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