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SRP begins cleaning Arizona canal system, moves hundreds of fish

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 1:58pm
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SRP is in the process of cleaning its canal system in the Valley.

The annual maintenance project ensures water gets to residents and businesses.

SRP Water Maintenance Manager Justin Schoenhoff said they moved hundreds of fish over the weekend before draining the canal.

“We lift 'em up and put 'em into specially made tanks that hold water and oxygen that are in the back of dump trucks," he said. "Then we move those upstream so that when water comes back, they’ll naturally come back down into the area that we dried up.”

The fish eat vegetation growing in the waterway and will be returned when the cleanup is complete. 

Schoenhoff said crews are collecting trash and silt to take to different landfills.

“We’ll have large excavators on top of the canal that will reach down and pick up the silt and then we have a line of dump trucks that are up on top of the canal that we will load and work our way down the canal bank," he said.

He said they’re finding less trash than expected this year. 

Once this stretch in Mesa and Gilbert is finished, SRP will begin cleaning the next 10-mile portion in January. 

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