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Many residents have contacted the city about water levels in the city’s ponds and wetlands. Record precipitation amounts have caused high water levels this year. The record precipitation started with the very wet fall last year, followed by record February snowfall, and then above average rainfall in May. With the recent rains the metro area is more than eight inches above average for the year.
With this amount of rain the soil becomes saturated. Any additional rain that falls is unable to be absorbed into the ground. To manage this added water the Rice Creek Watershed District and Coon Creek Watershed District have been doing inspections to make sure the ditch systems are functioning. City stormwater crews have also been out doing inspections to make sure ponds are functioning as designed and sweeping streets to remove debris that could clog storm pipes.
Wetlands and ponds in the city are designed to fluctuate. They hold water during spring and allow that water to slowly soak back into the ground and flow out through the system. Even without any additional significant precipitation events in the coming weeks, many drainage and utility easements and other low lying areas will continue to see saturated conditions.
The fluctuation of water levels in the stormwater ponds is a major reason why drainage and utility easements are not allowed to be altered. Things such as docks, rip rap, or landscaping can impact the flow of water and cause blockages which leads to flooding. Property owners with basement flooding issues are encouraged to check the grading around their homes and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the home.
In some instances, introducing deeper rooted and native plants into the landscape may alleviate certain flooding or standing water issues.
If you are interested in finding information about your drainage and utility easement, visit BlaineMN.gov/Stormwater