Water drainage problems in Washburn - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Water drainage problems in Washburn

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by Danielle Wagner

WASHBURN (KWWL) Water is sitting in Chris Shimp's yard in Washburn. Last week, he had six inches of water in his basement and is still pumping water out.

There's a reason the process is so slow.

"The main problem we have is it just sits here. There's nowhere for it to go," said Chris Shimp.

Washburn doesn't have a storm sewer system. Water in some neighborhoods just sits until it either soaks in or evaporates.

Black Hawk County Supervisor Frank Magsamen said the board is very aware of the problem. Magsamen said the town has a history of surface water drainage problems, but 2008 and this year are the worst.

He said first, the board is looking at improving and expanding current drainage systems.

"We have to look at what's currently there. See if we can refine that, make it work better and once that's done then I think we need to evaluate is there other solutions," said Magsamen.

Current systems include drainage ditches, one de-watering pump and culverts. Washburn resident Chris Shimp said he's open to any idea as long as something gets done.

"I would be game for storm sewer. Curb and gutter. I would be willing to pay more property tax if that's something they would be willing to consider doing," said Shimp.

But Shimp knows some of his neighbors don't want to pay more for a storm system. Plus, Magsamen said a storm sewer might not even be an option. He said an engineering study would need to be done first.

Instead, work to improve current drainage systems in Washburn should start in the fall when the ground dries out.

Larger-scale changes would need community approval, more research and likely won't happen in the immediate future.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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