Dalton area lake residents say ditch causing high water on north side [UPDATED]Published 9:44am Thursday, January 26, 2012 Updated 11:45am Thursday, January 26, 2012
Otter Tail County officials, in their role as ditch authority, and residents near Sewell Lake are discussing options for the operation of Ditch 70. That ditch takes water into the lake, on the north side, and extracts water on the south side.
Sewell Lake is located southeast of Dalton.
Several area landowners claim the ditch is not operating the way it should. They say that previous alterations, on the south side of the lake, have resulted in clogging of the outlet. That, in turn, results in water backup on the north side of the lake, according to some landowners.
A public informational meeting, hosted by the county, was held Monday evening.
Houston Engineering of Thief River Falls, under direction of Otter Tail County, later said that Ditch 70 is operating to its capacity as built. The ditch authority has indicated that property owners have the right to petition for an improvement to Ditch 70.
Privately, some landowners maintain that unauthorized alterations to the south side out of Sewell Lake made over a period of years is the crux of the problem. They further maintain that the ditch should be restored to its original design which dates back several decades.
Ditch 70 includes a tile system.
A tile is a pipe that is underground and used to transfer water. Tile drainage was first introduced in the United States in 1838.