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Irrigation canal with adjacent orchard
Home » Customer Services » Irrigation Canal Information

Irrigation Canal Information

PCWA's primary source of water is delivered through canals operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Company's (PG&E).   After the irrigation season (October/November), PG&E shuts down various canals for routine maintenance. This annual maintenance affects delivery to PCWA customers.  During this time, PCWA schedules irrigation canal outages and spreads remaining water supplies to mitigate the impact on its customers.

Additionally, PCWA owns, operates and maintains its own 165 miles of canals and, like PG&E, those canals must shut down from time-to-time for maintenance work. A part of this ongoing work is the gunite lining of canals to prevent seepage and water loss. The ongoing canal cleaning program also requires periodic outages; these are usually planned during the non-irrigation season months from January into April.

When outages are scheduled, specific outage dates and approximate times will be sent to customers whose water deliveries will be interrupted. In the case of emergency outages or extended outages, updates will be posted at the Outage Information page of this website. 

2016 Algae Control (Cutrine) Schedule

  • Schedule is subject to change and additional days may be added.
  • For any Algae control specific questions or concerns please email

Valuable Information For Canal Water Customers

During the warm, high water use months, demand on the canal system is greatly increased. Canal water levels fluctuate during high usage periods such as early evenings, weekends, and holidays. Below are some precautions you should take to ensure water delivery, and what to do if you are out of water.

How To Videos

Know Your Irrigation System

  • Understand your irrigation system and its connection to PCWA's canal system.
  • Do you share the line with others? If so, how many are on the party line?
  • We recommend storage (e.g. pond or tank). Is its capacity sufficient for your irrigation requirements?
  • If you are pumping, does your pump have a low water cut-off switch?
  • How much water are you buying? One miner's inch equals approximately 11 gallons per minute.

What To Do When There Is No Water In Your Irrigation System

  • Is there water flowing into your delivery box?
  • Check and clean your screen at the connection point.
  • If you are on an open canal and the canal water level is lower than usual or dry, please report this condition to PCWA.
  • If you share your line, check your neighbors to determine if they are also out of water.

Call PCWA Customer Services at (530) 823-4850 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  After hours, our answering service will receive your call.  If you call after 9:00 p.m., your call will often be referred to the office the next morning, as we are not able to send canal operators to unplug individual service lines during evenings and non-working hours.  We recommend that customers keep an adequate supply in storage (pond or tank) for emergencies or outages.


We recommend that customers use appropriate safety measures when near PCWA's irrigation canals.

Placer County Water Agency
Placer County Water Agency - 144 Ferguson Road, P.O. Box 6570, Auburn, CA 95604 - Telephone: (530) 823-4850