Replacing 110-Year-Old Utah Lake Pumps

A project is currently underway to replace the pumps that pump water from Utah Lake to serve, among others, Draper Irrigation/WaterPro’s pressure irrigation system. The plan is for the new pumps to be in operation for the 2013 irrigation season.

The current pumps were installed 110 years ago and have been in use ever since. When they were built, they were the largest water pumps in the country, and are capable of pumping the entire volume of water in the Jordan River.

The pumps are owned and operated by the Utah Lake Water Users. Draper Irrigation/WaterPro is one of the nine partners in this association, with the others being Utah Lake Distributing Company, Salt Lake City, the Metropolitan Water District, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, Rio Tinto (Kennecott Copper), North Jordan Irrigation Company, South Jordan Canal Company, and East Jordan Irrigation Company. For the better part of a century this was an informal partnership run on a handshake and called the Board of Canal Presidents. In recent years, however, the partnership was incorporated under the name of the Utah Lake Water Users.

Draper Irrigation/WaterPro has secondary water rights in Utah Lake. We are a participant in this $7.5 million project, with approximately 5 to 6 percent of the cost coming from WaterPro.