WINFIELD | The Storm Water Board recently authorized the creation of a preventive maintenance plan for the town’s culvert and ditch system on major roadways and in subdivisions.
Culverts are drains or pipes usually placed under roadways or other impervious surfaces to carry away stormwater that might flood an area. Culverts work in conjunction with ditches.
During the Dec. 18 Storm Water Board meeting, members discussed how best to clean up the town’s culverts, some of which have never been maintained, said Jim Simmons, board vice president and a Winfield Town Council member.
“Developing a maintenance program for the culverts will set up a rotation and ease our pain (of costly repairs),” board President Timothy Clayton said.
The town’s current stormwater master plan has most of the municipality’s culverts listed, Clayton said. To complete that list of culvert locations, the board instructed Mike Duffy, of Hammond-based DLZ Engineering, to consult large maps the engineering company maintains. DLZ serves as the contracted town engineer.
That information will be available in January, Duffy said.
The culverts then need to be coded, Clayton said. The culverts already cleaned by the Winfield Street Department will be noted.
“We need to start with the older subdivisions,” Simmons said. “The crews are cleaning up a lot of gunk. The basins are blocked with tree debris because nothing has been done.”
Simmons added the town also has “a lot of ditches to clean."
"Some have never been touched," Simmons said. "It will be a big expense.”
Storm Water Board member Joshua Malher suggested that DLZ also perform visual inspections of those culverts and ditches once a year.
How many culverts and ditches can be cleaned each year will depend on funding, said Rick Anderson, Winfield clerk-treasurer.
“We can lower expenses or get more culverts done if we do the maintenance early,” Simmons said.