Riverton City Drainage Way History
The primary creek systems, Midas and Rose Creeks cross Riverton City flowing west to the east. The third Butterfield Creek system is diverted to Midas Creek in Herriman City but still exists in Riverton downstream of Redwood Road. Rose Creek is located at the southern boundary and Midas Creek on the northern boundary. Butterfield Creek was historically located more-less through the center. The historic Butterfield Creek split somewhere around 4000 West but only remnants remain beginning at Redwood Road at 11850 South on the north and 13500 South on the south end of the City. Formerly, Butterfield Creek would fill and spill from the canal mostly the Welby Canal resulting in the preservation of FEMA floodplains but farming practices and eventually urban development effectively erased its existence across most of the City except for the eastern quarter. Riverton is divided by five canals which flow from the south to the north. Beginning on the east boundary is the Beckstead Ditch, South Jordan Canal, Utah and Salt Lake Distributing, Utah Lake Distributing respectively and the furthest west is the Welby Canal, also known as the Provo River or Highland Canal.
Development accelerated in the 1990’s and continues rapidly today. Like many cities in the Jordan Valley, Riverton was changing from a rural community to an urban community. Early development occurred with little or no runoff volume management and no intentional water quality systems. Many flood control systems were surface in nature and were shared with gravity irrigation systems but all subdivision drainage systems eventually separated from gravity irrigation systems and transitioned to traditional inlet, pipe and detention systems. By the 1990's it was recognized modern flood control management was becoming necessary.
Some of today's challenges come from the fact that new piped stormwater systems where shared with irrigation systems and many crossed through private property, in addition, many were not designed with no flood control detention systems. The canals and creeks received much of this new runoff impact without runoff rate management using most of the canal and creek systems capacity, leaving new development with significant discharge rate restrictions. Eventually, it became necessary for canal to creek system overflow structures and moratoriums on stormwater to canal system connections. With canal capacity diminishing Rose and Midas Creeks had to pick up the runoff from the abandoned Butterfield Creek basin resulting in expensive piped systems for conveying the center basin runoff to Rose Creek, Midas Creeks and the Jordan River. In 2002 UDOT improved 12600 South which included a conveyance system from the west side of the City to the Jordan River, however, betterment cost prohibited including much of the already built out Butterfield Basin drainage infrastructure which resulted in a 12600 South system basin which is mainly limited to the 12600 South frontage properties only.
To the detriment of water quality concerns, the new urban drainage systems built in the 80's, 90's and even early 2000's were mostly traditional inlet, pipe and low flow detention pond system approaches resulting in very efficient runoff collection systems but poor urban pollution containment making water quality retrofitting challenging.