By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Howard Lake City staff are working toward correcting water issues after recent heavy rainfall.
The problems in Howard Lake are not as extreme as those in some others areas, or to the extent of past years, such as 2001, City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller noted.
Although Howard Lake hasn’t had major flooding issues, the rain has exasperated some inflow and infiltration (I & I) problems.
The rain has caused some ditches to back up with water, according to Haggenmiller.
“The ditch in front of Dura Supreme is backing up and causing water to be stored in an otherwise well-maintained ditch,” Haggenmiller noted.
Water is backing up into the backyards of residents in Lake Ridge development, and a property near 8th Avenue.
The backup in Lake Ridge development is due to poor grading and a blocked drain tile, according to Haggenmiller.
“Weather permitting, city staff should have the Lake Ridge issue resolved within one week,” Haggenmiller noted.
The 8th Avenue backup is due to a collapsed drain tile, and city staff will address the council with a quote at the July 15 meeting, Haggenmiller said.
Other issues may take more time to complete due to where they are located.
Some of the issues require combined effort between the City of Howard Lake and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).
Issues near 13th Avenue and 4th Street require permission from BNSF, according to Haggenmiller.
“Unfortunately, due to the somewhat small scope of the issue in the eyes of the railroad, we’re likely low on their radar and priority,” Haggenmiller said.
Water issues on the west end of Howard Lake require repair to a culvert that is in a protected Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fish hatchery.
“The water backs up into a lift station causing excess I&I and failure, which disrupts service to the industrial park,” Haggenmiller commented.
The Minnesota DNR is unwilling to issue permits for the backup near the hatchery at this point, Haggenmiller noted.
“This is a big deal to us, and we’re finding cooperation among various agencies difficult to obtain,” Haggenmiller said.
“We have a lot of water issues, most of which are attributed to simply enduring the wettest January through June on record, but we are not simply sitting on our hands,” Haggenmiller said. “The public works crew has been continuously working on the various issues.
A work session with Haggenmiller, the city engineer, city staff, and some impacted property owners has occurred, Haggenmiller noted.
“It takes time to get the required permits and quotes, and to work through the process,” Haggenmiller added.