Residents’ Alternative to Piping the Ashland Canal


TO:  City Council, Ashland Mayor and Paula Brown, Public Works Director

FROM:  Residents’ KEEP THE CANAL Committee


  1. Conserve water by repairing neglected concrete liner in the 7,160 feet of open canal.
  2. Eliminate additional E.coli contamination from storm run off and other outside sources with an erosion curb.
  3. Ensure the efficient use of CIP funding and recognize canal as a current City asset.
  4. Repair approach will cause the least amount of damage to trees and keep the aesthetic ambiance of the canal intact.  (No trees were removed during April 2019 repair of 400 foot section of open canal.)

Our Alternative #5    Repair the existing canal beginning with the sections rated “poor” using “shotcrete” or reinforced concrete. Entire canal could be repaired in one 4 month period or in phases. Include reinforcing steel in canal bottom where the concrete liner is significantly damaged or missing. Include PVC weep lines on the uphill side of the canal in order to allow for ground water seepage and install an errosion curb which will handle storm water run-off and significantly reduce additional E.coli contamination. 

+ Leaving the canal open gives visibility to problems while a pipe keeps them hidden. A recent City inspection could not be completed because the remote camera could not navigate bends in the piped areas. Any repair required in currently piped sections must be assessed separately.

                  Materials                                 shotcrete (Polyurethane Fiber Shotcrete that is wildlife friendly)

                  Capital costs                          $843,310 based on the April 2019 repair of 400 feet of open canal.                                                                     ( cost $49,900)

                  Annual O & M                       $12,500 (newly lined canal will have same O&M as a pipe) with                                                                            pressure grout treatment at year 40 approx. cost $100,000

                  Life of Option                        50-100 years (100 years with pressure grout treatment at year 40)

Tree Loss

                  Local arborist to estimate removing “actively disruptive trees” – $$? Note that during the 400 foot repair project of April 2019, no trees were damaged or removed.

Difference in cost compared to Public Works’ Alternatives

                  Option #5 Residents:  Repairing open canal    = $843,310 plus optional $100K curb cost

Option #4Aggressively Maintain – Phased Repairs                = $3,004,658 plus tree loss cost

Option #1All New 24”Pipeline* – Corrugated HDPE   = $3,472,579 plus drainage study cost, plus drainage project cost, plus tree loss cost, plus legal risk, plus maintenance risk. *Some piped areas already utilize 2 separate 24” pipes so a single pipe may prove inadequate.

Notes:  Ted Hall – PPE engineering consultant; Robinson Concrete – did current (April 2019)  repair work; local arborist who will walk the entire two miles with two observers; and the Citizens’ Keep the Canal Committee is responsible for this report. Contact  –