FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: When is irrigation season?

Irrigation Season Starts April 15th and continues through September 30th

Q: Why is there water in the canals before April 15th?

Water is brought in to the system in early March to prepare for the season. The water in the system during the initial fill can only be used for filling sprayers and frost control. 

Q: What is included in my bill?

The bill is made up of two parts. The first part is a per tax lot charge and the second part is a per acre charge. We do have a minimum of 1 acre charge for all tax lots.

Q: When will I receive my bill?

Invoices are sent out in October for the following year's Irrigation Season. Payment is due by April 1st. 

Q: How do I determine my water right amount?

Your water right amount is shown on your statement and is determined by the amount of land that can actually be irrigated on your property. The Oregon State Water Master for our region oversees water use in the Hood River Basin. East Fork Irrigation District's water right allotment is 4.49 GPM (gallons per minute) per water right acre. Most properties are NOT fully irrigated. 

Q: How much water do I get? Where does it come from? 

To determine how much water you may use in gallons per minute, multiply your water right acres by 4.49. For example, if you have 0.25 water right acres, then 0.25 x 4.49gpm/acre = 1.1 gpm for you to apply to your land. Your water right never provides enough water to irrigate all of your acreage at once. It is necessary to rotate your sprinklers on a regular basis to cover all your land. By using low flow micro sprinklers, you will be able to more efficiently irrigate larger areas of your property without exceeding your water right allocation. 

Your irrigation water comes from the East Fork Hood River off of the Northeastern slope of Mt. Hood. 

Q: Why is it important that I use only my allotted amount of water?

State law and District water conservation policy do not allow diversion of water from streams and rivers above the amount stated in the District water rights certificates. If each irrigation district member uses only his or her share of water, then there is enough water to go around, and the District is also able to leave appropriate amounts of water in-stream for fish needs as well. Using beyond one's water right causes other individuals in the District to go without their full water delivery.  

Q: What is the biggest cause of water supply issues to my property?

Aside from problems associated with trying to use too much water (see previous question), a clogged filter is usually the cause of water supply problems to individual properties. If you establish a regular schedule to clean your irrigation water filter, you will typically enjoy a trouble-free irrigation season. 

Q: What do I do if my water has low pressure or volume?

Assuming you are not attempting to use more than your water right allows, first check to make sure your main valve is open. Next, inspect your irrigation filter to ensure that your filter is free of sediment and debris. Clean your filter if needed. If all valves are in the "on" position and your filtering is clean, then check the Irrigation Status on the Customer's Page. Or you can call the office at (541) 354 - 1185 for updates. Interruptions in service can sometimes happen due to service line breaks, maintenance work, flushing the Sandtraps or, sometimes, natural events such as debris torrents and/or earthquakes. 

Q: Why is the irrigation water dirty?

Water to East Fork Irrigation District comes from the East Fork Hood River, which has heavy glacial sediment. Furthermore, the large District conveyance canals are not yet fully pipe, and leaves and other debris can fall into the canal water as it flows to the District's pipelines. During periods of dirty water, such as later in the summer when glacial sediment is high or we are excavating silt from the main larger canals, it can sometimes be necessary to clean your filter several times per day. (IRRIGATION WATER IS NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION OR OTHER DOMESTIC USES)

Q: May I use my irrigation water for any purposes other than irrigation?

NO. While District farmers are allowed to use their water for other commercial farming purposes under special separate water rights, District users must restrict their water use to irrigation only.

Q: Why is my neighbor able to run more sprinklers than I?

Assuming your neighbor is not over using their water right, and also assuming you are both using the same type of sprinklers; the fact is that your neighbor has a larger water right than you and, therefore may use more sprinklers. 

Q: How do I winterize my irrigation system?

To winterize your system, leave both valves and the filter ball valve fully open and drain water from your pipes, pressure reducers and filters. 

Q: How do I change the name and/or address on my property?

Names of owner(s) and property addresses are changed in the District's database only upon receipt of written notice from Hood River County that such a change has been made and recorded with the County. It is District policy to bill only the landowner, not renters or lessors. You may change your mailing address by contacting the Office.