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Grassland Bypass Project

Grassland Bypass Project

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Background Information

Grassland Bypass Project (map and data):

Prior to October 1996, subsurface agricultural drainage water (tile drainage) and surface runoff (irrigation tail water) from the Grassland Watershed was discharged to the San Joaquin River through Salt Slough and/or Mud Slough (north). These two sloughs are tributary to the San Joaquin River and serve as the primary drainage outlets for the Grassland Watershed.

After October 1996, all subsurface agricultural drainage from a 97,000 acre area within the Grassland Watershed known as the Drainage Project Area, was rerouted into the Grassland Bypass whih discharges into the final 28 miles of the San Luis Drain. The consolidtaed subsurface drainage is then released into the final nine miles of Mud Slough (north) for eventual discharge into the San Joaquin River. Consolidating the subsurface drainage removes the primary source of selenium from approximately 90 miles of canals within the Grassland Watershed which can supply water for wetland habitat, and also removes this drainage from Salt Slough. Reducing selneium in these water bodies is a primary goal of the project, since elevated concentrations of selenium have been documented to be hazardous to waterfowl. Subsurface drainage from areas outside of the 97,000 acre area served by the Grassland Bypass Project continues to flow to Salt Slough and Mud Slough (north).

For more detailed information and access to annual reports, go to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Grassland Bypass Project Homepage.

Contact Information

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--Web page updated 12/02/2014