The Barker Ranch Irrigation Canal Piping is part of the Columbia River Basin Water Management Program and
replaced three miles of an open-earth irrigation canal with a closed pipe system. Funded with a $5.6 million
grant by the Washington State Department of Ecology Office of Columbia River, the pipe system increases
water delivery efficiency with leak and evaporation reductions, allowing for more Yakima River water retention.
Barker Ranch Ltd worked with J-U-B ENGINEERS, Inc. to find a pipe product that could handle 9 psi of seasonal
pressure for the new pipe system. It also had to maintain the existing footprint of the canal – which runs along
the banks of the Yakima River – with joint deflection, elbows and have access risers every 500 lf.
DuroMaxx steel reinforced polyethylene (SRPE) pipe from Contech Construction Products Inc. was chosen
because it met these needs and also increased the installation production rate inherent with a bell and spigot
pipe versus a solid wall welded pipe.
“Barker Ranch Ltd elected to use DuroMaxx pipe to reduce project costs and meet their budget, realizing the
pipe was a new product,” said Gary Weatherly, P.E., with J-U-B ENGINEERS, Inc. “The project also had a very
aggressive completion schedule.”
Apollo Inc. installed over 3 miles of 54 -in. and 60 -in. diameter DuroMaxx pipe with HDB pressure rated
polyethylene resins. An additional 1,500 LF of 30 -in. diameter DuroMaxx was installed to provide additional
water to the ranch. DuroMaxx provided superior performance and proved an effective and economical
solution for low head water transmission.
The increased efficiency of the closed pipe system allowed Barker Ranch to divert less water from the Yakima
River, adding 6,436 ac-ft of water to stream flows, benefiting local fish and wildlife. The new pipeline also
delivers water to restored wetlands at Barker Ranch to support 175 different bird species and other animals.
“The Barker Ranch project represents the kind of conservation we need in the Greater Columbia Basin to
best make use of a finite resource,” explained Tom Tebb, Ecology’s regional director for Central Washington.
“This project puts a large amount of water back into a critical reach of the Yakima River in perpetuity and is an
example of how we can retool our existing systems to better manage water resources in the years to come.”