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Prairie View project handles heavy rain event

WORTHINGTON -- After 4.8 inches of rain fell in a span of 24 hours Monday and Tuesday, Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District Administrator Dan Livdahl said the new holding ponds on the former Prairie View Golf Links property were up to the challenge.

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Water flows over a Flexamat erosion control product installed on the former Prairie View Golf Links property following nearly 5 inches of rainfall earlier this week. The Prairie View project handled the large rain event just as it was designed to. (Special to The Globe / Dan Livdahl)

WORTHINGTON - After 4.8 inches of rain fell in a span of 24 hours Monday and Tuesday, Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District Administrator Dan Livdahl said the new holding ponds on the former Prairie View Golf Links property were up to the challenge.

Though construction on the site isn’t quite complete, water was flowing out as designed following the large rain event, he told the OOWD Board of Managers during its Tuesday meeting.

Livdahl said under normal flow conditions, water rises above the level of the sand filters on the side of the main basin and is filtered before exiting through pipes.

“What we had (Tuesday) was not normal - it was high water conditions,” he said. “In high water conditions, water will rise to the level of the spillway and flow out. There are also some overflow intakes on the filters.”

Knowing the weather forecast in advance, contractors worked last Saturday to install Flexamat erosion control material on the primary spillway on the property. This is where water flows over the surface during high water conditions.

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“Those sheets of Flexamat need to be tied together and anchored to the ground,” Livdahl said. “Right now, they are there by gravity.”

Once the area dries up and contractors can get back in, that work will be completed. Then, the whole site needs to be seeded and stabilized before winter as required by state law through the site’s stormwater pollution prevention plan. Because of the bare soils, Monday’s storm caused some gullying and rills that will also need to be repaired, Livdahl said.

“It would have been nice if it had waited until the project was completely done before we had a rain event, but such is life,” he said. “I’m pleased with the way that it’s functioning at this point.”

Following Livdahl’s update on Prairie View, the board:

  • Learned the potential Prairie View land trade and ownership proposal will be discussed during an Oct. 18 city council work session.
  • Discussed a carp study that will be done on Lake Okabena. A team from Wenck Associates will be in Worthington sometime early next week, weather permitting, to do some shocking in the shallow waters and count the number of carp that float to the surface.
  • Approved a $14,500 study by Wenck Associates to survey the new ISD 518 property along Crailsheim Road, Olson Park, Slater Park and Sailboard Beach to determine potential water quality improvement projects on each of the sites.

As an example, Livdahl said storm sewers west of Knollwood Drive empty into Lake Okabena at Slater Park.
“We want to know if we can intercept the storm sewer and treat the water,” he said. The study will be paid for through the watershed district’s $50,000 data acquisition fund.

  • Was reminded of the 7 p.m. Oct. 10 public hearing on the Lake Ocheda Management Plan.
  • Approved incentive payments to landowners within the watershed district who have installed Conservation Reserve Program filter strips.
  • Approved a stormwater pollution prevention plan for Bedford Industries to construct a building addition, and approved an erosion and sediment control permit for Bedford to replace gravel lots with grassed areas on its property.
  • Approved an erosion and sediment control permit requested by the city of Worthington for construction of an amphitheater in Ludlow Park. Sponsored by Bedford Industries, the amphitheater features three tiers of cement for seating and a small stage for events like small concerts, church services or weddings. Long-term plans include the addition of a parking lot, a couple of rain gardens and potential restroom improvements.
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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