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Calistoga's Kimball Reservoir Bypass Plan moves forward

Kimball Reservoir

Kimball Reservoir, where The Napa River begins north of Calistoga. This manmade lake is fed by rain and snow which runs off of Mt. St. Helena. Calistoga gets some of its drinking water from the reservoir and diverts the runoff into seasonal creeks which grow and become the Napa River.

Calistoga is moving forward with plans to update bypass operations at Kimball Reservoir, to minimize adverse contributions to native fishes and their habitat, and comply with state requirements.

What was to be an interim bypass has been in operation since 2011. Calistoga has been working with the state and fisheries biologists over the years to monitor the bypass situation and gather data.

In a complex 68 page public works report presented to the city council on June 15, staff stated the adoption of this Final Bypass Plan will mostly consist of a modification of the scheduling of bypass flows throughout the year.

The project will cause a roughly 10% reduction in the city's water supply, but that won't happen until after the 80-year old infrastructure intake and inoperable 24-inch drain valve is replaced that can provide these higher bypass flows, said Calistoga Public Works Director Derek Rayner.

Implementation of the decade-old project is most likely two years away, and the city is waiting for funding on the $2.5 million project.

Plans call for the construction and repair of existing outlet works. The bypass flows will provide certain amounts of bypass at specified times to improve the overall condition of fish downstream of the reservoir, and ensuring there is no possibility that the new schedule would have a significant effect on the environment, Raynor said. 

Check out highlights from graduations held at Napa Valley College and Justin-Siena, New Technology, American Canyon, St. Helena, Calistoga, Napa and Vintage high schools.

You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.

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