Skip to Content

Sinkhole in main Arnold Irrigation District canal prompts water shutoff for repairs

(Update: Adding video, Mtn. High HOA officials says it could take a week or more)

Also affects Roats Water System irrigation service, but not homeowners' drinking water

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A large sinkhole has been discovered in the Arnold Irrigation District’s main canal in Deschutes River Woods, prompting it to shut off irrigation service to customers until repairs can be completed.

The sinkhole was found Thursday afternoon, prompting an immediate shutoff to begin work on repairs. A message on the irrigation district’s phone number said it’s not known how long repairs will take, but customers will be notified.

The shutoff also means Roats Water System won’t be receiving its irrigation water from Arnold Irrigation and must shut down irrigation service until repairs are completed.

“Arnold is currently working to repair the sinkhole as quickly as possible,” Roats informed affected homeowner associations on Friday.

David Mosher, co-president of the Mountain High community, said Sunday he only learned of the water shut-off after several residents contacted him, with no notice from Arnold Irrigation or Roats Water directly.

"So we've been told its five to seven, to eight days that we'll be without water," Mosher said. "Basically, it just means that our lawns won't get watered with irrigation water. We can hook up sprinklers and sprinkle with our potable water that we get from Roats, and a lot of people are doing that, and I did it last night."

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Author Profile Photo

Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.



  1. If it weren’t for evaporation, seepage, burrowing rodents, water theft, liability claims, drownings, etc. canals and ditches might be a cheap and practical distribution system for irrigation supply … if we had plenty of water and a lower demand for supply.

  2. I’m all for conserve water and possible prevent sinkholes …I just think there should have been some provision in the plan for setting aside a few “open” water areas for wildlife that has come to depend on the ditches around here in the hot weather.

  3. Likely related to the plethora of lava tubes underground most places Central Oregon. The responsible thing to do for the water resource is to pipe these canals and let the users pay for it. For just this reason and many more including lives lost by drowning in these canals the sooner this is done the better. The water in Oregon as elsewhere is a precious commodity becoming ever so. It is a crime against all nature to waste and pollute.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content