06 Oct FROM IRRIGATION LEADER MAGAZINE: HOW TO RESPOND TO A PUMP STATION LIGHTNING STRIKE
Posted at 13:30h in In The NewsOn Saturday, May 30, a major pump station in South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) was struck by lightning, disintegrating a bus conductor and knocking out the facility. Within hours, SCBID Manager Dave Solem was on the scene with engineers, electricians, manufacturers, and other relevant personnel. Luckily, the damage to the station was not as bad as feared, and after 2 days of hard work, SCBID had the pump station up and running. In this interview, Mr. Solem gives Irrigation Leader the details of this event and explains how the district reacted. Irrigation Leader: Please tell us about your background. Dave Solem: I have been the manager of SCBID since 2010. Prior to that, I managed Klamath Irrigation District for 27 years. Irrigation Leader: Please tell us about SCBID. Dave Solem: SCBID is one of the three irrigation districts that make up the Columbia Basin Project (CBP). Our source of water is the Columbia River. SCBID serves about 230,000 of the about 700,000 irrigated acres in the CBP. Irrigation Leader: What are the main crops grown in your district? Dave Solem: Alfalfa; wheat; corn; potatoes; beans; grapes for wine and juice; apples, cherries, and other tree fruit; and many seed crops. There are as many as 90 different kinds of crops grown in the CBP. Irrigation Leader: Tell us about the pump house that was recently struck by lightning.