Ditch Construction Now

Ditch Construction Now

Today, everyone is trying to get the most out of every drop of water in Boulder.

Still there is not enough water for projected population growth.

Right, clockwise from the top:

In 1955, Ev Long used his Dodge Power Wagon and climbing ingenuity to replace five leaky wooden flumes on the Silver Lake Ditch with 835 feet of steel pipe hanging off the canyon cliffs. Ev drove the Dodge and Farm-all tractor (both pictured) across the creek and used them to winch pipe sections into place from bolts he drilled into the cliff face. Pieces of the old wooden flume can be seen on the ground. Photo by Ev Long.

With urbanization and greater liability risks, fewer Boulder ditches are burning to control vegetation. Instead, they use mechanical control and herbicides.

Bottom left and right: Irrigation diversion dams can be major obstacles to fish traveling up creeks. Ditches in Boulder have been installing fish ladders at their diversion structures, to improve habitat along the creek. South Boulder & Canon Ditch diversion, BEFORE (Bottom left)

Now fish can swim up the little rapid over the dam any time of year. South Boulder & Canon Ditch diversion, AFTER (Bottom right)

Cleaning the Enterprise Ditch with a backhoe. Although backhoes and small tractors have made ditch maintenance easier and faster, much work is still done by hand. Photos courtesy of City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.

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