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Oregon dredges Badfish Creek to mitigate groundwater flooding

OREGON (WKOW) — For years, high ground water has saturated yards and seeped into basements along the Badfish Creek in Oregon. After months of neighbors calling on the village to take action, the Public Works department has taken its first step.

Crews began dredging the half mile section of Badfish Creek running along Jefferson St. to allow water to move through the corridor faster. After Monday’s rain, it was apparent the water was moving, but many who live near the area said it hasn’t made much of an impact on their yards just yet.

According to the department, the groundwater table is at an all-time high due to years of heavy rain collecting in the low-lying area with nowhere to go.

Seth Eckert said he’s lived on Jefferson St. for five years and when he moved in, there was about a half mile of grass between his home and the creek. He said that’s slowly turned into a marsh and in the past year, he’s had to pump water out of his basement every few hours.

“Sump pump hasn’t stopped in the last 12 months,” Eckert said.

He said he’s especially concerned during heavy rainfalls or storms, like Monday’s.

“If the power does go out, our sump pump can’t obviously run and that means we have a flooded basement,” he said.

Eckert said he hasn’t noticed a difference with the water in his yard since the dredging began but he’s hopeful as time goes on more water will get the chance to drain out.

Still, he hopes the dredging is just a first step. Eckert said he’d like to see more done to limit the amount of water that drains into the area in the first place.

When the Village proposed dredging the creek, they said it would likely be a temporary solution to see what happens when they get water moving in the area. The village covered the cost of dredging and reactivated the drainage district for the area to fund possible future solutions to lower the groundwater table in the area.

Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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