Pumping plants 1A and 1B are co-located at the most southern section of the Natomas Basin, on Garden Highway between Gateway Oaks and Orchard Lane, within the City of Sacramento’s boundaries. These plants are stationed on the Main Drainage Canal and disburse runoff water from area canals, ditches, and rain events directly into the Sacramento River through concrete tunnels under the Garden Highway levee. The Main Drainage Canal was once referred to as Bannon Slough named after Patrick Bannon who owned the property before the construction of the Garden Highway Levee.
Pumping Plant 1A, formerly known as the Bannon Plant, was the District’s first pumping plant, constructed in 1914 at the lowest point of elevation within the District, and has the second-greatest pumping capacity of any plant in the District. Plant 1A was designed to handle all ordinary runoff within the Basin. However, due to its age, difficulty to start and operate, Plant 1A has not been used in over two decades.
Pumping Plant 1B has the current largest reliable pumping capacity and is still in regular use. The plant was originally constructed in 1959 and then rebuilt in 2003 to meet modern standards.
In 2022, construction to improve both Plants 1A and 1B will begin as part of the Natomas Levee Improvement Project (NLIP), with planned completion in 2024. This planned construction along with the District’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) will not only improve flood operations and safety within the Natomas Basin but will also allow for Plant 1A once again to become fully operational.