About 2,000 feet of new pipe is being laid as part of a project to streamline how the Chewuch Canal Company fills or withdraws water from Pearrygin Lake. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

About 2,000 feet of new pipe is being laid as part of a project to streamline how the Chewuch Canal Company fills or withdraws water from Pearrygin Lake. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

By Laurelle Walsh

A temporary cofferdam is holding back Pearrygin Lake while Selland Construction of Wenatchee builds a new intake structure that will allow the Chewuch Canal Company (CCC) to fill or withdraw water from the lake.

To accommodate construction, the lake level has been drawn down five feet as allowed by the CCC’s reservoir permit. “It’s the lowest I’ve ever seen it,” remarked Dan Brookshire, owner of Silverline Resort.

Around 2,000 linear feet of pipe is being laid parallel to Lake Creek. The ditch company’s existing earthen canal transports irrigation water from a diversion on the Chewuch River about six miles downstream to where it crosses under Bear Creek Road.

From there it will be piped across a field and under Lake Creek to a “T” where a two-way valve will allow water to flow left into Pearrygin Lake or right to farms downstream.

“The goal is for the Chewuch Canal Company to be able to manage its reservoir better,” said project manager Lee Hatcher.

Larger pipe and new screens will enable the ditch company to fill the lake more quickly during spring runoff, Hatcher said. While filling the lake used to take 60 to 80 days, the new plumbing will get it done in about 30 days, Hatcher estimates.

At the other end of Bear Creek Road, work has resumed to complete piping the canal from Craig Boesel’s ranch about two miles to the Winthrop town limits.