The Tanner Ditch was one of the first irrigation ditches dug in Salt Lake Valley, in 1848 in conjunction with the Big Ditch.
Irrigation season begins between April 1 and April 15, when the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities begins to fill ditches with creek water in order to fulfill irrigators' water rights. The season ends on October 1, prior to the beginning of a new water year.
The Department of Public Utilities also uses irrigation ditches to handle excessive snowmelt or storm water. The department employs a hydrologist to monitor snow pack. An irrigation supervisor checks weather patterns hourly or by the minute when a big storm is forecasted. A full irrigation crew can be on the job at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., turning water out of the ditches in order to accommodate storm water that can't be handled by the county storm water system.