What’s wrong at the Pond?
Many have noticed the level of the Pond is much lower than we normally see. This has not been ignored by the Board of Directors or Maintenance Committee. Here’s what’s going on.
The Association buys water from the Cottonwood Ditch every year which is used to fill the Pond. A portion of the ditch runs behind homes on the land-side of Comanche. Along that portion is the pump house, which includes the APS meter, the pump and the pump float, a safety switch that raises or lowers depending on the water level. No water, the pump is switched off.
The pump is not holding prime. Former Maintenance Committee, Fire District personnel and the Cottonwood Ditch “Ditch Boss” who are familiar with the workings of the pump were invited out. It has been determined that the header valve on the pump is worn out and not keeping water in the pump to keep it primed. This is being repaired by the current Maintenance Committee.
Another problem is with the VVPOA section of the irrigation ditch itself, which over the course of many, many years has become choked with grass, weeds, even a tree or two. The water cannot flow from the Cottonwood Ditch to the Pond pump intake area.
Near the pump house is a small reservoir where the water to work the pump float switch and pump is collected. A third problem is that this reservoir has a leak, allowing water to flow around the reservoir instead of filling it. Maintenance consulted with the Cottonwood Ditch “Ditch Boss” who came out to look at the problems and offer suggestions for fixing the problems. He recommended putting a tarp at the bottom of the reservoir over the leak to help temporarily resolve that problem; this has been done. He also recommended having a backhoe and other heavy equipment brought in to clear out the ditch. The Board will consider the expense related to this and make a determination as to whether this is a viable option for us. In the meantime, the all-volunteer Maintenance Committee has been clearing the Ditch by hand, a very slow process which nonetheless has greatly improved water flow along this area.
The makeshift pump house roof was rotting and ready to cave in. It has been removed and a new roof is being installed.
Lastly, the Cottonwood Ditch shuts down the water flow every year, usually beginning the first of March, for about 3 weeks to do maintenance on the Ditch itself.. Between now and then, the Board will consider options so future generations can maintain the ditch and keep the VVPOA section of flow and ultimately the Pond itself in good health.
We ask all who use the ditch for watering their lawns and gardens to PLEASE keep your own section of the ditch clear of debris and foliage. This will go a long way towards keeping the water flowing to the Pond Pump intake area and onto the Pond itself..