Last ag drainage wells to be closed

Of the 300 agricultural drainage wells once in use in Iowa, only 31 are still open, with six under contract to be closed soon. Out of the remaining 25 wells, two are located in Wright County, both in Grant Township.

“The state wants all the wells closed because they see that there’s a potential for groundwater contamination,” said Mike Bourland, an engineer with the Iowa Department of Agriculure and Land Stewardship. He addressed a small group of landowners and tenants from the well area before the board of Supervisors on Monday.

Though the Grant Township wells are raised and capped so they don’t drain surface water, they do drain some water through outlets lower down the well. The wells are in a low area of ground between Elm Lake and Lake Cornelia, which means diverting drainage will be difficult.

“If you close the well, obviously everything that drains to the well no longer drains,” Bourland said. “What we’ve done so far is provide alternative drainage.”

Read the full story in the December 7 edition.