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Canal management and maintenance

Every fall and winter, parts of SRP’s major canals north and south of the Salt River are dried up to allow for construction, cleanup and repairs. During these times, canals are often temporarily closed to the public.

On this page:

    Annual canal maintenance and dry-up schedule

    During dry-ups, fish are relocated, weeds and debris are cleaned from the canals, and repairs are made to ensure the canal system provides a consistent flow of water to our customers. For your safety, please stay clear of any canal construction and maintenance that may be taking place.

    SRP performs dry-ups on a rotating 10-year scheduleDocument is a PDF.

    Southside Dry-ups
    Nov. 20 through Dec. 20

    Northside Dry-ups
    Jan. 8 through Feb. 7

    Questions? Call SRP Water Transmission at (602) 236-4956(602) 236-4956.

    Why does SRP dry up the canals? 

    Dry-ups are part of our commitment to managing the Valley’s water supply responsibly. Our crews work to keep the canals in good shape and to maintain a special cement lining that helps prevent water loss.

    Report dumping, damage and more

    At SRP, we’re committed to keeping our community spaces safe, clean and accessible. If you notice vandalism, dumping or lighting outages, please let us know.

    To report Contact
    Graffiti on SRP canals, gates, etc Water Customer Services (602) 236-3333(602) 236-3333
    Damage to SRP poles, transformers or other electricity structures Residential Customer Services (602) 236-8888(602) 236-8888
    Suspicious dumping or contamination of our waterways Water Customer Services (602) 236-3333(602) 236-3333
    Unauthorized motor vehicle or hazardous conditions Security Operations Center (602) 236-5305(602) 236-5305
    Lighting outages Your local government. File a report online.

    If you witness someone damaging facilities or any other suspicious or illegal activity, call local law enforcement.

    Under the state Environmental Nuisance Law and Federal Clean Water Act, anyone vandalizing or dumping waste into our waters could be subject to fines of $10,000.

    How canal maintenance supports Valley growth 

    By taking care of our canals, SRP is working to protect our waterways, prevent the loss of precious water and provide more community recreation spaces. Maintaining this critical infrastructure is part of our commitment to positioning the Valley for continued growth.

    Eight municipal water treatment plants are located along the canals. These filtration facilities treat the water before it’s delivered to local residents and businesses.

    A sustainable approach to cleaner canals 

    In 1989, SRP launched an innovative experiment. We released 1,800 white amur fish into the SRP canal system, and these weed-eating fish helped keep the canals clean and clear – without the need for harsh chemicals. Today, the White Amur Fish Program saves SRP hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual operating costs and continues to set a high standard for innovative and sustainable water management techniques.

    SRP Zanjeros

    Since the late 1800s, zanjeros have played a vital role in controlling the flow of water in the Valley.

    Spanish for “ditch riders,” zanjeros once rode hundreds of miles along the canals on horseback, opening head gates to release water from the major canals. Today, they ride in white SRP trucks, but their mission remains the same. Learn about a day in the life of a zanjero.