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Reclamation Districts Looking For Leaks In State Levees After Lake Oroville Incidents

  

While crews and state agencies are keeping track of runoff levels into Lake Oroville, reclamation districts throughout the state are driving on their levees looking for leaks.

Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt has been on the Feather River and Sacramento River levees during the last two days.

Randol: Bob, what are the pressing concerns right now?

Bob: Boils are the concern right now, and if you live here long enough, you come to understand that a boil is kind of like a siphon through or under a levee from a river to dry land that erodes part of the levee.

Right now, we have work wrapping up on one boil along the Sacramento River's east side, north of Elverta, at the Verona Boat Ramp.

And just today, a new boil was discovered just north of that site.

Randol: So it may come as a surprise to some people that system isn't designed to have water in contact with the levees for a prolonged period of time.

Bob: The water is typically in the rivers or in the waste areas that are between the rivers and the levees themselves.

I talked with Joe Henderson about that. He is the manager of District 1001.

"We've got room. The system's designed to hold a lot of water. But, the longer the water is in the system, the more diligent we have to be about watching the levees."

Randol: And what about the water we're seeing in farmland near the rivers?

Bob: Some of that is water that just hasn't drained, but some is seepage from the rivers. Seepage being clear water that has a path from one side of the levee to the other, but that supposedly doesn't erode the levee in the process. You can see a lot of that along the Feather and Sacramento rivers.

Levee Terminology