Drinking water in our neighborhood traditionally has come from private wells, with Suez Water now providing Boise municipal water to the subdivisions. Irrigation water comes from the canals provided by two companies: the Boise Valley and the Farmers Union Ditch Companies (see our Neighborhood Plan for their history). The main Boise Valley canal travels along the north side of State Street, while the much larger Farmers Union was dug into the flank of the foothills north of Hill Road across our neighborhood. The influx of water, especially from the Farmers Union, recharges the local aquifer and many domestic wells. The Spoil Banks Canal (also known as the Eagle Drain), is said to be one of the earliest excavation projects by Morrison and Knudsen. It runs year round due to the groundwater recharge from the Farmers Union Canal, and hosts a population of wild rainbow trout.

There are several threats to the quality of surface water and groundwater to our neighborhood. In the 1990s groundwater contamination from the Ada County Landfill was discovered along Seaman's Gulch Road to Hill Road. More aggressive extraction of landfill gases appears to have improved much of the problem, though, because the now closed Hidden Hollow Landfill is unlined, the threat remains.

Irrigation runoff can be contaminated by chemicals used either by small farms or on lawns and yards, and storm runoff often carries petroleum products and other contaminants. These will often end up in the Spoil Banks Canal which flows into the Boise River in Eagle.

A new threat to our water has been uncovered -- a contract between Boise and the Farmers Union Ditch Company to discharge 16 million gallons per day of partially treated ('Class A') sewage effluent into the Farmers Union Canal. This contract was signed in 2014 but was not announced to water users until 2019, after Boise launched a public relations campaign promoting 'water reuse' in general. The contract has since been cancelled, but the NWNA is still concerned with potential ongoing health threats posed by the contaminants that are not removed by the standard kinds of treatments proposed.

Treated Wastewater Discharge and Use Agreement.pdf


June 4, 2014