Zintel Canyon is a ravine incised down through a thick ice-age flood terrace in Kennewick. The stream has a rather large drainage area in the Horse Heaven Hills, and poses a bit of a flood risk to the neighborhoods below where the canyon opens up. The Army Corp of Engineers constructed a flood control dam zintel-canyon-dam where the canyon passes through one of the northern ridges in the Horse Heavens.
Downstream where the canyon opens up onto the low ground between the canyon mouth and the Columbia River the creek enters a large culvert to pass under streets. A trash wrack to catch debris has been built at the culvert entrance.
Trash wrack at 7th and Vancouver
A trail has been constructed up the canyon. The year round stream with thickets of brush and Russian olive and cottonwoods is an oasis in this area with less than 8 inches of rain per year. As urbanization has taken place it has become an oasis of a bit of wildness in the urban landscape.
The flow in the stream is enhanced by recharge by irrigation water and the City of Kennewick has been working on schemes to further recharge the aquifer. At the lower end of the stream near the Columbia River Kennewick has drinking water wells.