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Canyon Drains

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The City of Wenatchee has three seasonal watercourses that drain the canyons on the east slope of Mission Ridge into the City of Wenatchee’s urban area. These natural drainages are called No. 1 Canyon Drain, No. 2 Canyon Drain and Dry Gulch.  They allow rainwater and snowmelt to drain from the canyons to the Columbia River.   Even though these natural drainages flow through the City of Wenatchee they are separate from the City's urban stormwater system. 

In October 2014, the Chelan County Public Works Department completed construction on a 1.5 acre flood control facility within No. 1 Canyon.  The three basin facility was designed to provide increased retention time during high Canyon flows to allow for infiltration and holding of runoff.  As a result, a portion of the water within the No. 1 Canyon drainage is slowed down before it reaches the City of Wenatchee.  The County's newly implemented Flood Control Zone District is continuing to investigate other opportunities, similar to this facility, in both Canyons above the City.

Number One Canyon Stormwater Facility picture 1
The No. 1 Canyon Stormwater Facility in the fall of 2014

The City of Wenatchee does clean and maintain the portions of the canyon drains that are under public roads. The remainder of the canyon drainages are located on private property and the maintenance is the responsibility of the property owners. 

Common maintenance problems include:

  • Overgrown vegetation
  • Debris and yard waste dumped into the ditch
  • Filling in or reducing the capacity of the watercourse
  • Installing permanent structures that restrict or alter the flow (i.e. fences, sheds, decks, walls)
  • Not removing debris and sediment deposited from previous flood events

Property owners considering maintenance, modifications or repairs to the natural drainages on their property must to first call the Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Private properties must notify the following agencies prior to work on the canyon drains even during an emergency.

Regular Business Hours Contacts: (Monday - Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm)

Department of Fish & Wildlife: Amanda Barg (509) 429-9285 or Region 2 Office at: (509) 764-4624

Army Corps of Engineers: Jacalen Printz (206) 764-6901

After Hours Emergency Contacts:

Department of Fish & Wildlife: (360) 902-2537

Army Corps of Engineers: (206) 200-9954

If you need sand bags, please call Chelan County Emergency Management at 667-6863.

The following is a map showing the routes that the canyon drainages take through town.

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