Drainage proposal gets tabled
By Daniel Arens
Water often proves to be a tricky thing to control, and decisions which individuals make can have further repercussions.
John Weinand has been working to better control drainage on his property through tile drainage. Weinand has already completed 80 acres of work on tiling, which does not require a permit, but in order to complete the total area of 139 acres the Mercer County Water Resource Board will have to approve his proposal.
Weinand noted that tile drainage was a “better way to manage water than Mother Nature, you have some control over it.”
Public notice was sent out to neighboring landowners who could potentially be affected by the proposal, and a public hearing was held during the regular monthly meeting of the water board on March 17. Jean Hoepfner, a landowner who lives south of Weinand’s property, had concerns that the tile drainage upstream from him could cause flooding at his property.
The water board studied maps and questioned those in attendance, but they felt from the maps they saw that the water would likely still drain in its existing ditch. The amount of water could be regulated, with pumping only occurring in situations where the water rises above a 4 ft. holding zone. Heopfner was still concerned about whether or not these claims were certain, and also addressed the flow of salt from Weinand’s property to his own.
Water Board Chairman Ed Grunett and Secretary Greg Lange noted that they had heard positive feedback from similar tile drainage programs in eastern North Dakota, but would have to see if similar procedures could work with the different soil and water conditions in the western part of the state.