Levee maintenance is key

September 4, 2013 

I read the article in which a flood control prevention district pointed out that although there are some levee problems, the main problems are the sand boils that are caused when there is high water. Yes, sand boils are bad, particularly when they stop running clear water and start carrying soil, which can lead to levee failure.

I have witnessed a couple of boils. The water was running clear, therefore it was hard to convince the flood control district to check them out. The district maintained it was from broken water mains. The Army Corps of Engineers finally forced it to check it out; they were boils. That district had funds for maintenance and repairs that had been collected by taxes on those being protected by the levee system. No failures occurred due to maintenance.

I suppose the question here is, who is responsible for maintaining the levees after construction? Who is responsible for continuous maintenance of the flood control systems and fixing boils to prevent failures? The flood control districts should have a budget with an item for "maintenance and repair." Do they?

In some cases, people have been offered to be moved to less flood prone areas by the government. I admit, it is hard to move everyone and everything to high ground. River access is required, or at least desirable for some business. Those businesses may need special levees, but do the people who do not share in the profits need to pay for those levees?

Just thoughts for the future.

Lew Hiatt


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