Baumann Legal Drain

Project Summary:

Project Type:
Planning and Design

Owner:
Bottineau County Water Resource District

Overview:

The Bottineau County Water Resource District (BCWRD) and a local steering committee began working on the redevelopment and improvement of a legal drain, known locally as Baumann Drain, just north of Westhope, ND. Baumann Drain was designed by the Soil Conservation Services (SCS) and constructed in the late 1950s. The original Baumann Drain was approximately six miles long and was designed to handle a watershed of 11,000 acres with an assessment district of 3,320 acres.

The BCWRD and the steering committee decided that the current drain is inadequate to handle existing conditions especially during intense summer rainstorms which result in serious overland flooding, roadways being overtopped, and major crop losses. Due to local advancements in agricultural practice, including changing the landscape from ranching to small grain production increased the intensity of the runoff, the original project inadequate to handle the runoff from the actual watershed of 41,850 acres.

Additionally, the culverts crossing under US Highway 83 are in poor condition and need to be replaced which initiated discussion with the NDDOT. The NDDOT agreed to pay 100% for the improvements within the US 83 right of way. The proposed project included constructing 9.8 miles of the channel with several crossing upgrades.

Project Details:

BCWRD moved forward with the redesign and upgrade of the Baumann Drain. The first step in the process was to develop preliminary plans and establish a new and larger assessment district. The new assessment district is 34,473 acres, ten times the original assessment district. The assessment district was approved in April 2017 by a 63% to 37% overwhelming margin vote.

Apex worked with BCWRD to develop the assessment district, secure the necessary drainage permits, obtain the Corps 404 permit and secure funding from the ND State Water Commission and North Dakota Department of Transportation. Apex also coordinated with US Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss wildlife easements and Waterfowl Production Areas.

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