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Arnold Irrigation District hopes to fill sinkhole, restore service by Friday

(Update: Adding video, comment from customers, Irrigation District Official)

One customer temporarily redoing entire water system

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Monday afternoon, Duane Schiedler was hard at work.

Redoing the whole irrigation system for his nursery, Celebrate The Season.

“We got the notice that the water was shut off, there was a major sinkhole in the main canal,” Schiedler told NewsChannel 21.

Schiedler normally gets his irrigation water from the Arnold Irrigation District, but that service is currently shut off due to a large sinkhole that emerged late last week in the canal in Deschutes River Woods.

District Manager Colin Wills said, “We estimated that the sink hole was taking about 30 cfs (cubic feed per second). At the time, we were running 90 cfs. That’s about one-third of the water.”

Wills confirmed all 640 of their customers are without service, and fixing the sinkhole is going to be a tall order.

“It’s a tough water year, and this just hurts our farmers,” he added.

But in the meantime, Schiedler switched his whole nursery to a different supplier -- something he first did last year, due to the district's irrigation flow being shut off early.

“We literally spent hundreds of dollars on splitters and extra hoses, and we’re trying to get more efficient with drip lines," Schiedler said. "So I’m setting it all up again.”

He showed us one of the four splitters he purchased last year.

“These are 40 bucks a piece right there,” Schiedler said. “So there’s $160 last year.”

Wills was optimistic the water service could be restored by the end of the week.

“My goal is to have the construction completed, as well as the shotcrete, which is a final project after we rebuild the canal, turned on by Friday,” he said.

Construction on repairs is set to begin tomorrow, after a plan is developed with the help of a local geophysical engineer, the irrigation district said.

Arnold Irrigation also is looking into piping the canal, which they said could avoid this problem in the future. There's a public meeting on the issue in June.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



  1. Probably doesn’t matter much – we in theory get Arnold irrigation water for landscape where I live, though I’ve already put in drip irrigation and started eliminating high water use plants, trending towards xeriscaping. Last year, we were restricted to 2 days/week watering in July, and the water was shut off completely in August. Wickiup ran out of water ~Sep 15th completely. Looking at the graph, I predict they’ll either limit water use in mid June or shut off completely by July. Wickiup on track now to be completely dry by August if you trend out the water year chart.

    1. 82000 acre-feet in Wickup now, 1300/day going out the door over the last 6 days (90565-82768 / 6 days). That’s 63 days (~July 19th) of water using the last 6 days usage rate – worse than I thought really. It’s gonna be an interesting one boys and girls.

  2. “These are 40 bucks a piece right there,” Schiedler said. “So there’s $160 last year.”

    LOL wow, a whole $160, that’s a good night’s bar bill right there.

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