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White Tanks No. 4 FRS

White Tanks No. 4 Flood Retarding Structure

Rehabilitation Fact Sheet


  1. Flood Control District of Maricopa County
  2. Agua Fria–New River Natural Resource Conservation District
  3. Buckeye Valley Natural Resource Conservation District

Project Location: Western Maricopa County, Arizona

Authorization: Department of Agriculture Appropriation Act of 1954 (Public Law 156), and Public Law 106-472, Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 2000.

Estimated Construction Cost: $13 million 
Projected Construction Start
: January 2011

Project Summary:

The White Tanks No. 4 Flood Retarding Structure (FRS) was constructed by the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service - NRCS) in 1954.  It is operated and maintained by the Flood Control District of Maricopa County.  The 1.3-mile-long, 20-foot-high earthen structure provides flood protection to:

  • an estimated 4,000 current residents

  • 1,000 residential and commercial properties

  • agricultural land, and related infrastructure.  Additional residents and structures will be protected in the future as development continues to occur in the downstream benefitted area. 

The FRS has surpassed its original 50-year project lifetime and has developed safety deficiencies since the time of its construction related to embankment cracking. To address these concerns, the Project Sponsors, with assistance from the NRCS, completed a Rehabilitation Plan and Environmental Assessment (Plan/EA) in 2008.  The Plan/EA calls for rehabilitation of the FRS to provide for continued flood protection while meeting current safety and performance standards.  The total flood damage reduction benefit from the rehabilitation project is estimated at $27 million.  NRCS is currently working with the sponsors to prepare engineering plans and designs for this high priority dam rehabilitation project.