Randall starts pumping out Nippersink Bowl

Randall town Chairman Bob Stoll looks at the discharge point for the Nippersink Bowl de-watering operation.

Randall has started pumping out — also known as “de-watering” — the Nippersink Bowl to lower water levels there that threaten nearby homes.

The pumping started Thursday after the state Department of Natural Resources issued a permit allowing the operation.

The permit was issued after testing of the water in the bowl showed it would not be harmful to pump into an area that runs off into nearby Lake Benedict, said town Chairman Bob Stoll.

In 2010, the town completed a project that allows water from the bowl to be pumped into an area that drains into Lake Benedict. Homes near the bowl could be damaged by prolonged high water in the bowl.

The Benedict/Tombeau Lake Management District and residents on those two lakes have long expressed skepticism about the plan, arguing — as recently as earlier this year — that water from the bowl could damage the lakes.

“The lake district does not want to see this water go into the lake,” Kathy Fejes, Benedict/Tombeau Lake Management District chairman, said at a June 27 Randall Town Board meeting.

Thursday, the Town Board during a regular monthly meeting went out to the bowl and discharge sites to inspect the pumping operation. Water was high enough to make 399th Avenue/401st unpassable.

Though the de-watering mechanism was installed in 2010, the town has not had a lot of occasion to use it, including during record rains in 2017. Pumping this year around Memorial Day was the first time the pumping has been used for lowering the bowl since 2010. That pumping was stopped until the permit issued Thursday was obtained.

Ken Ward, the town’s consulting engineer, explained at the June 27 meeting that the high water level in the bowl this year appears to be due to higher than normal ground water levels.

Stoll said several suggestions from the DNR for de-watering also were observed, including installing baffles at the discharge area and letting grass grow there to provide additional filtration.

This photo shows the pumping operation at the Nipeprsink Bowl.

The map below shows the Nippersink Bowl area:


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