Ivins looks to prevent flooding with new drainage plan, improvements

Ivins – The Ivins City Council considered ways to improve drainage in the city in the wake of recent flooding at Thursday’s regular council meeting. After extremely heavy rains in a short period of time inundated the city, officials are rethinking the whole city’s drainage plan.

City Engineer Chuck Gillette gave an extensive presentation showing historic drainage through the city, highlighting intersections and locations that experienced flooding during severe storms earlier this year.

Based on recent flooding, the city has been working on multiple projects throughout the city to make improvements to the drainage system. Ivins is also seeking proposals for a consultant to help the city create a new storm drain master plan.

“With these recent storm events, obviously we’re needing to reconsider, and we are now soliciting proposals for a new storm drain master plan,” Gilette said. “We realize that our old storm drain master plan may not be adequate any more due to the frequency at which we’re getting these large storm events.”

Gillette used an old map to show what path runoff water took when the city was much smaller. The natural drainage path starts on the far west side of Red Mountain, curves south and then east right through Ivins City.

“A lot of our problems are following along that historic drainage path,” Gillette said.

While the city has done a lot to reduce flooding problems over the past several years, issues still remain.

“You would think Taviawk Wash would naturally drain into the Kayenta Wash, but it doesn’t,” Gillette said.

The city is working to alleviate problems caused by the old drainage path and be better prepared for more frequent severe rainfall events.

“On the bright side, there are areas of the city that had problems that were serious in the past that have been virtually solved,”  Mayor Chris Hart said. “The Tuacahn detention dam performed perfectly all the way down through, we didn’t really have any problems in those areas.”

The Tuacahn Wash Upper Detention Basin slows water flow through Tuacahn Wash, which drains down into Santa Clara to the Laub Pond Dam. This system performed well in the Sept. 9 storm, Ivins City Manager and City Attorney Dale Coulam said.

A “detention dam,” or basin, is designed to slow down storm water long enough for sediment to settle out, and to release the water at a steady rate. Too much mud and sediment in runoff water can quickly clog drains and pipes. A “retention” dam is designed to retain water permanently, Coulam said.

“The object is to keep the water clean, and get it underground,” he said.

While waiting for an improved storm drain master plan, the city has not been idle. There are a number of projects which are in varying stages of completion. For a full listing of projects, see the full Ivins Engineering Report.

Other business

  • Ivins City Council decided against renewing membership in Site Select Plus, formerly known as the Washington County Economic Development Council, for $5,020. Site Select Plus is a private-public partnership that helps local primary industries retain and expand jobs, and recruits companies and jobs from outside Southern Utah. Council members said they feel the money would be better spent elsewhere – with the Ivins Tourism Council, for example.
  • The council amended the 2015 budget to allow for the purchase of new servers and software updates. The servers will not be supported after July 1, 2015, which presents concerns about the city’s data security.  Approximately $32,000 was freed up from the law enforcement budget when an officer left the city’s employ, and this money will be used to pay for the equipment and software. The money was moved from the law enforcement budget to the general government budget. No public hearing was required because state code allows the movement of money between departments.
  • The council amended the city’s alcoholic beverage code, making several minor changes to simplify the permit process and bring codes into compliance with current state law.
  • Dates were set for the City Council’s 2015 regular meetings. The council will meet just once in January, on Jan. 15, 2015, due to the first Thursday of the month falling on Jan. 1. The council generally meets on the first and third Thursday of each month.

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  • My Evil Twin November 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Interesting, they are blaming the flooding on large amount of rain, and the historic drainage channels. How about putting the blame where it belongs, namely on the developers who build in flood channels, and the city that grants the building licenses for these developments.
    Since Ivins has firmly taken a stance to pretty much be a “bedroom community,” they’re pulling out of Site Select Plus only makes sense. After all, “we don’t want no dirty industrial or commercial enterprises to sully our beautiful community.”

    • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Can’t we blame Obama?

    • Zonkerb November 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      LOL your comment means nothing you get lost in a roundabout and have to dial 911 to get help and you are trying to judge other people LOL. and trying to act like like you know what your doing lol….

    • Zonkerb November 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Whaaaaaaaa Whaaaaaaaa Whaaaaaaaa mommy mommy

  • Billy Madison November 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I’m glad to see people thinking about this problem. The old approach was to stock pile sand bags, watch TV, and hope for the best. A pro-active approach is much better and having people in office who really care is great.

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 21, 2014 at 11:46 pm


    • Zonkerb November 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Yeah the illegals can clean up the mess they always hangout at Home Depot

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