Chesterton Tribune



Water in your backyard; Blame it on the rain

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Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Chesterton Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Monday night that he’s received a lot of calls from folks with water in their backyards, “people who don’t normally have water in their backyards and don’t understand why they do now.”

It’s the rainy season, really, O’Dell said, with more than three inches of rain over four days last week and nearly four inches so far in May: 3.69 inches to be exact. And this May has followed the second wettest April in five years, with 5.37 inches recorded at the wastewater treatment plant. “The ground is saturated right now. That’s just Mother Nature. There’s not much we can do until it stops raining. It usually takes around 72 hours for the water in people’s backyards to recede.”

O’Dell did note that the Easton Park subdivision on the extreme east side of Chesterton is currently experiencing drainage issues. “Easton Park is having a lot of water draining from the upper land to south,” he told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting. “That water flows northwest towards their new roads and is causing erosion issues. They’re working on additional erosion control measures to mitigate the water.”

The new Springdale planned unit development, on the other hand, currently under construction at the extreme southwest side of Chesterton--an area of town with an historically high water table--is doing okay, O’Dell said. The developer recently completed the stormwater system, it’s activated now, and the curbs and gutters in place along with the stone filter dyke around the outlet structure have been doing an adequate job of keeping the site drained.

Re: In-filling 1050N Ditches

in Crocker

In related business, O’Dell told members that he hasn’t had time since their February meeting--given the COVID-19 pandemic--to complete an RFP for a survey of the ditches along the north side of 1050N in Crocker, the first step in piping and in-filling them.

Those ditches are open and deep and many of them show signs of significant erosion to the point that some underground utility infrastructure has been exposed.

A similar project was completed in 2017 along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 18th and 23rd streets, when that ditch was piped and in-filled.

Flail Mower

O’Dell also reported the newly acquired flail mower has been deployed in the area east of the headwaters of the Peterson Ditch, immediately west of South 11th Street. “We cleaned it out with the flail mower,” he said. “It’s starting to flow better. You can’t really tell on the west side but the water is moving and on the east side of 11th Street it’s running into the culvert under the road.”

Last year Bill Laster, a resident of Oakwood Drive, complained to the board that the old ditch was congested and its flow into the Peterson Ditch hindered by vegetation, so much so that it was backwashing into his rear yard, located on the east side of South 11th Street.

Trust Indiana Fund

Finally, O’Dell reported that Clerk-Treasurer Courtney Udvare has moved $500,000 of Stormwater Utility moneys into a high-yield account with the Trust Indiana Fund, available exclusively to municipalities.

“We can take that money out without penalty in an emergency,” O’Dell said.


Posted 5/20/2020




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