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State ‘completely satisfied’ with Delton pumping

Luke Froncheck

Staff Writer

Questions raised in the past couple of weeks by county residents concerned about the pumping of water from Crooked Lake to the former Darrell Jones property have centered on a recent decision by officials to re-direct the overflow water to another section of the Jones property.

The overflow water was initially being pumped to a dry area of the property and was then suddenly switched to the small pond behind the drier ground, feared by some residents to be a wetland area.

Barry County Drain Commissioner Jim Dull told the Hastings Banner that the change was due both to his own mistake and the recommendation of his engineer, Brian Cenci.  Dull said he originally thought the water was supposed to go into the dry parts of the property but Cenci advised that the water be directed into the vegetated (pond) area because of fear of eroding the ground on the dry portion. Both the dry and vegetated areas of the property are permissible areas based on the permit issued by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

“EGLE prefers we put the water in the vegetated area, though,” Dull stated.

Still, concerned citizens contacted the state, prompting local EGLE representative Audrie Kirk and her wetland specialist to inspect the pumping location.

“They were completely satisfied with the set-up we have when they got out here,” Dull said. That set-up is the one that has the water moving from Crooked Lake through the dry portion of the ground and into the vegetated area.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the vegetated area is not considered a wetland because it is not more than five acres in size and is far enough away from another body of water to not be considered a protected wetland. However, the smaller ‘wetland’ on the other side of the berm constructed by Dull on the property is considered a protected wetland because it sits close enough to Crooked Lake, another large enough water body.

“We’re still getting really good infiltration,” Dull said.

Dull reported that the pumping effort has only put four feet of an expected 20 feet of water onto the property. He also said that, as the vegetated pond area fills up, the water will also start to fill the dry portion of the former Jones property. That process will eventually fill the entire back end of the Jones property and not just the dry or vegetated places on which attention is currently being focused..

Dull also reported that Cloverdale Lake is down 4 or 5 inches after the pumping effort started.

 

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