The primary function of the Maintenance/Weed Control Department is to maintain the District’s system of canals, structures, pumps, etc. to ensure that water supplies are efficiently conveyed to the District’s customers. To a degree, the Department’s functions fluctuate with District water demands. For example, correlated with temperature and sunlight, weed control activities are minimal during the winter, but become critical to making water deliveries during the peak spring and summer irrigation demand period. During the low demand winter months the Department’s activities shift to “major maintenance/construction” that is difficult to perform during the irrigation season. These activities include replacement of existing structures (headgates, turnouts, pump stations), installation of new structures, and major canal maintenance (dredging, repairs to concrete lining, etc.). In addition to installing structures and turnouts it is important to note that Maintenance staff pre-cast a large number of the structures in the District yard, thereby saving substantial sums compared with other construction methods.
The Maintenance Department is also responsible for all operations and maintenance activities associated with the District’s groundwater wells. This includes optimizing the use of ground water in conjunction with the District’s surface supplies (including operating wells consistent with the District’s energy management program), well maintenance, groundwater monitoring activities (water levels and quality testing), and repairs. The District has substantially strengthened its well operations and maintenance capabilities over the last several years and is able to perform many routine tasks previously contracted to outside companies. The Maintenance Department has also developed improved capabilities to assist with maintenance and construction activities (“Operations Maintenance”). This includes constructing foundations for new District wells and well discharges, and construction of new metered customer services to replace older connections that require daily manual measurement.
In addition to the above functions the Maintenance Department is primarily responsible for the District’s emergency response efforts, safety program, and vehicle and equipment maintenance program.