City, Falkirk address pond drainage future
By Suzanne Werre
A little “miscommunication” led to a meeting between the Underwood City Commission and representatives of the Falkirk Mining Company last Tuesday.
The miscommunication regarding where water from a sedimentary pond is going to be pumped seems to have been ironed out already, according to Falkirk Mine’s Jeremy Eckroth, Senior Environmental Specialist.
A special meeting between the commission and Falkirk Mine representatives was called last Tuesday to iron out some questions that had arisen after the city received notification from the mine that it planned to start draining water from a sedimentary pond north of ND Highway 200 and east of US 83, back through its former normal drainage path, which would run under 83, and eventually run into Pryor’s Slough on the east side of Underwood.
When the mine was presenting its water diversion plan in Dec. 2013 to get water out of that sedimentary pond, the normal drainage route would have taken it to the already-full Pryor’s Slough at Underwood, which would have caused problems for Underwood, which was just getting into a plan to help deal with its floodwater problem. The proposed solution to the problem was going to involve sending Underwood’s excess water through Pryor’s Slough, and additional water from Falkirk was not going to help the situation.
The mine then developed a header line that diverted the water through the header line to a different natural drainage area, keeping it out of Pryor’s Slough, and sending the water south.
As work in that area of mining east of Underwood winds down and eventually moves elsewhere, Falkirk’s plan is for that water that has been diverted through the header line further downstream to go back through it’s original natural path, which is into Pryor’s Slough.