BISMARCK, N.D. — A drain tile system that was built to bring flood relief to North Dakota home owners 6 miles northeast of Bismarck has other landowners concerned the diversion could contaminate groundwater on their property.

Alton and Arlene Nitschke are worried about the quality and quantity of water that could be discharged onto their land, The Bismarck Tribune reported . They’re appealing a permit that the Burleigh County Water Resource District granted to itself for a drainage project meant to remove excessive groundwater from the Hay Creek Pines subdivision.

The Hay Creek Pines Groundwater Removal Project was built to lower groundwater levels in the subdivision by providing a path for the water to more readily leave.

The project’s aim is to improve the stability of the road bed in and around the subdivision, reduce sump pump operations in homes, protect structures and reduce the drowning of trees.

“When the subdivision was being developed, the developer told homeowners, ‘Don’t put in a basement,'” Arlene Nitschke said. “They did anyway, and now they’re out there watering their lawns and wondering why there’s water in their basements.”

The Nitschkes said the groundwater has been polluted by coliform and other contaminants.

“We know there are some toxic bacteria in this water. You can tell just by looking at it … it doesn’t look right. At this point, I don’t think it’s something that should be put above ground,” said Alton Nitschke.

The couple owns about 40 acres of land and has lived south of the subdivision for 24 years.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com