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Return Flow Policy

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RETURN FLOW POLICY

Responsibility for Tail Water Disposal and Water Quality
Each operator is responsible for their own tail water, pump sump overflow water or wastewater. The discharge of such water to District facilities requires a District permit. Return flows to District-operated delivery canals and laterals are not authorized.
Each operator is responsible for their own tail water, pump sump overflow water or wastewater. The discharge of such water to District facilities requires a District permit. Return flows to District-operated delivery canals and laterals are not authorized.

The District may make exception to this policy if it can be demonstrated that the proposed return flow will have no detrimental impacts to District operations or deliveries to other landowners. Such exceptions may only be made by permit.

The District shall reduce the water delivery to 100% of any farm unit’s share of system capacity, regardless of combinations or permits, if return flow to the District’s system contains amounts of silt and debris deemed unreasonable, in the sole discretion of the District. The District shall shut off water delivery whenever tail water is endangering District property or the property of others.

East District return flows (farm overflows, farm tailwater, District operational spills and groundwater drain out) provide much of the irrigation water supply for the South District and also return to the Columbia River and other public waters. Federal and state water quality laws and regulations apply to some of these return flows. Tail water and other discharges from farms that are detrimental to the District’s ability to comply with applicable federal and state water quality laws and regulations will not be allowed. The District may take one or more of the following actions in cases of such detrimental return flows: report the situation to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and/or other appropriate local, state or federal water quality agency, terminate the water service contract, reduce the water delivery at any one time to 100% of the farm unit’s share of system capacity regardless of combinations, limit the amount of water available over the irrigation season to the base quantity (no supplemental or excess water) regardless of combinations, halt water delivery or pursue other legal remedies.

The discharge of livestock waste to District waterways is prohibited.

Municipal and industrial discharges, such as street runoff, cooling water and process water (contact and non-contact) is prohibited.

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