Drainage issues causes flooding to several homes in Fruita

FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Several residents in the Sycamore subdivision in Fruita woke up to pools of water flooding their backyards Tuesday.

When the irrigation canals were turned on, they got more water than they hoped for.

"I came home from work last night and I saw it flooded and I went 'not again,’” said Angela Walsh, Fruita resident.

Angela Walsh says she’s been dealing with the flooding in her backyard for the last 30 years.

"Yeah, it's getting pretty frustrating…the first year it happened I got ducks and that worked out alright, but I no longer want ducks,” said Walsh.

The root of the cause may be down to our irrigation and drainage systems.

"When the underground pipe gets plugged with roots, certainly that water is going to back up under pressure and then surface up through and unfortunately it surfaced in this lady's backyard,” said Tim Ryan, General Manager, Grand Valley Drainage District.

Grand Valley Drainage District owns more than 125 miles of underground pipes, including the 640-foot section where the flood happened. They say the drains running off those pipes got clogged up and started pushing water out into their yards.

"It just kind of snuck up on us because of the way the spring has been, our inability to maintain the open drains is because it's been so wet, we've kind of had to neglect the pipe system for a little bit but we will certainly get to this one today,” said Ryan.

The drainage district has to deal with more than just weeds stuck in pipes.

"We've pulled all sorts of things out of it, we wonder how they get in there. We are talking skis, basketballs, lawn chairs, tables,” said Ryan.

The City of Fruita is also dealing with similar issues around town. They turned on their water supply Monday. As a precaution, they’ve temporarily shut off their valves in that area too.

"A little bit of flooding in a few backyards around Fruita which is normal for starting the water…Aspen Street subdivision which is at the corner of Aspen and Pine had a small flood,” said John McBride, City of Fruita Public Works Superintendent.

As for Grand Valley Drainage District, they said they would address the issue immediately in that Sycamore subdivision. They will use their high-pressure jet cleaner to flush the system clean. Removing weeds and debris that may have caused the backup.

"When irrigation water starts to come into the system it finds these areas that we thought were maintained but certainly weren't we will get somebody out there real soon and alleviate this problem,” said Ryan.

"I mean we got to do something this is a lot of wasted water,” said Walsh.

Drainage districts want you to do your part too. Make sure you turn off your valves and clear your gardens so they don’t get any blockages.

Crews with Grand Valley Drainage District managed to extract a bundle of roots and debris from that pipe Tuesday. It came in over 12 feet long. They hope this will prevent future flooding.

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