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The Placer County Flood Control and Water Conservation District has recently received two awards for an innovative flood control project in Western Placer County on the border between Roseville and the unincorporated area of the county. The project is called the Miners Ravine Off-Channel Detention Basin and is located on a 26-acre parcel just west of Sierra College Boulevard near the intersection of Olympus Drive.

The $4.8 million project, finished in 2007, was granted the prestigious Sustainable Project of the Year Award by the Sacramento Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In addition, the project, which includes recreational and environmental restoration improvements, earned an engineering excellence award of merit from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

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The project mitigates increased flows within the Dry Creek Watershed caused by development in the past few decades. The project uses an off-channel detention basin to temporarily store a portion of peak flood flows for up to six hours in order to slow the release of the waters back into Miners Ravine. The gravity-draining design did not change the surrounding floodplain elevation, does not trap fish and prevents over-topping of Sierra College Boulevard. Miners Ravine continues to flow through the area unimpeded when high water flows are not present.

In addition to enhancing flood control, the project includes a multi-use trail, interpretive signing and trailhead parking. The stream channel and nearby wetlands are protected and have been improved, with non-native vegetation removed. A levee that was previously present was set back, reconstructed to state jurisdictional dam requirements and serves to reduce the confinement of the creek channel. This feature enhances floodplain function and habitat value.

‘Through extensive coordination and involvement of local stakeholders, regulatory agencies and the interested public during the planning and design, we developed a win-win type of project with multi-objective and complementary components of flood control, recreation and restoration.  We hope to find similar solutions to flood control needs in the future,’ explains Brian Keating, District Engineer with the Placer County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.  

The project benefits the District, the City of Roseville and both Placer and Sacramento counties with reduced flooding impacts. The final design of the project was selected by the District and a stakeholder committee formed to solicit public involvement and was chosen due to its superior technical, financial, environmental and permitting aspects. Once the design was chosen, the District conducted its environmental analysis. In addition to reducing the flood threat, the project has opened recreational activities and improved habitat for salmon and steelhead.

The project sits on District land west of, and adjacent to, Sierra College Boulevard, one half mile north of Douglas Boulevard.

The Placer County Flood Control and Water Conservation District was created by an act of the state Legislature in 1984 and includes elected officials from Placer County and the cities and towns of Loomis, Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln and Auburn. The District goal is to protect lives and property from the effects of flooding through comprehensive and coordinated flood prevention planning, use of consistent standards to evaluate flood risk, implementing regional flood control measures and the operation and management of a regional flood warning system.

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