Piping Central Oregon’s Pilot Butte Canal
Irrigation Leader spotlights modernization project utilizing 102- and 108-inch steel pipe manufactured by Northwest Pipe Company
The Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) is currently in the first phase of a major infrastructure project to pipe the 23-mile-long Pilot Butte Canal. This project converts a century-old system of open canals into a modern closed system that will save water otherwise lost to evaporation and seepage. Through conservation, the project benefits fish and wildlife in the Deschutes River ecosystem while supporting sustainable agriculture and improving regional natural resource management. In an interview with Irrigation Leader Magazine, COID Managing Director Craig Horrell, COID Deputy Managing Director Shon Rae, and Taylor Northwest Project Manager Kevin Isley share details about the modernization project. Here, they discuss the planning process and their choice of engineered steel for a critical stretch of the new piped system.
When talking about the factors that went into the selection of pipe for this project, Craig Horrell, Managing Director Central Oregon Irrigation District, talked to the importance of price, durability, and constructability:
“There were challenges to constructability with some of the preferred pipe materials, especially when it came to large-diameter pipe. Steel pipe matched up to other materials from a performance and quality standpoint, and the cost was competitive. Another benefit is the strength of steel and its natural resistance to seismic events. It took us about 3 months from start to finish to properly vet and select pipe materials and a vendor. visited several pipe plants. Northwest Pipe won out for a lot of reasons. It has a Portland, Oregon–based manufacturing center, which for us is basically as local as you can get. It’s made in Oregon and will stay in Oregon. That was a huge factor because delivering 14-foot pipe is pretty expensive.”