What if your weir breaks, flume tilts, inline flowmeter freezes, or your headgate jams? Don’t panic, but don’t ignore it. Get help to fix it. If you are in a water district,
community services district, watermaster service area, or other place
where some agency regulates the flows, then contact them. Otherwise, you will be dealing with the Water Board concerning your measurement device and reported diversion amounts. Write it down: what happened, when, for how long, what you did to fix it. Scan what you wrote so you can send a PDF to staff at the Water Board if requested.
The photo to the left is an example – on a stream where I watermastered, a diverter had not put in any device on a diversion. About 4 times the legal right was going down the ditch. I said, “Gimme the materials” and put in a board orifice. Then I gave the diverter a 30-Day Notice to put in a permanent device, which he did. A temporary fix solved the problem, and once the permanent headgate and weir were installed, the problem stay fixed.
If you had a professional install it (like Rights To Water Engineering), you are likely to get help soon, and maybe at a reduced cost if it is easy to fix. While you are trying to get a good and permanent fix, do something wrong instead of nothing. Well, not wrong, but do something as a stop-gap, knowing it will be replaced very soon. Put in temporary weir boards, check them once a day, write down everything you do, stay in touch with the Water Board. Communication is important – let staff at the Water Board know there was a problem, you are working on it, and you are taking steps to get it fixed right. The good folks at the Water Board are not looking to slap fines on people; they are looking for diverters to act reasonably, do something to start making the problem less.
Notes on broken weir box, July 12, 20xx. The weir box collapsed in on the north side when my neighbor drove a tractor tire over the backfill. The boards broke and are completely jammed in. I stuck a plywood, 90-degree V-notch weir about 20 feet downstream in the ditch, bracing it with 2″ x 4″ boards on the downstream side. I am measuring the flow once a day, and adjusting the headgate so the stage over the weir stays at 1.05 feet, which the table says is 2.81 cfs. My water right is 2.85 cfs so I am taking less. The data logger collects data every hour, but that data
is no good starting July 12. I called the Water Board and talked with Paul Wells, who asked when and how I intend to fix it.
July 23, 20xx – Rights To Water Engineering sent out a technician who brought a new concrete weir box. It is installed where I had the temporary plywood weir. The new weir box is 4 feet wide, same as the old one. The data logger is in the new box, so it reads the same as the old weir did. I will email my notes to Paul Wells at the Water Board, and I will include the notes in my annual report of diversions.