Flooding was rampant in Madison Township following the recent spate of rain storms, even covering Brobst Park in eight inches of water.
Although the park is a recreational haven for team sports and residents throughout the township, a neighboring development that never got off the ground is causing water to pond in the wrong places, bringing with it the potential for damaging new parking areas and rendering the park unusable at times.
The Madison Township Fire Department had to move its annual Easter Egg Hunt from Brobst Park to the grounds of Groveport Madison High School due to the flooding conditions at the park and township trustees are investigating the elevation of a septic system to keep it from taking on too much water.
"We’ve got to get this fixed," urged Trustee Jim Hummel. "If this continues, you are going to have to go in there with a loader and scrape up sediment."
According to Madison Township officials, when the former neighboring development was excavated, two feet of fill was deposited next to property now owned by the township. The rise in elevation is causing drainage problems leading to flooding at Brobst Park.
"Major ponding took place after filling the ground south and southwest of us," said engineer Matt Ferris, "and this part of the reason why we’re having so much flooding. They’ve interrupted the flow of water. The whole key to draining the new parking lot is dependent on what the ground can take. The development (adjacent to the park) died and parties that were involved are no longer connected with the project. The park has never seen this amount of water for so long and it’s due to the (change in) elevation. The best option is to get an efficient outlet."
Ferris said the city of Columbus reviewed plans for the adjacent development, but did not see plans for the mass excavation and placement of the fill leading to the township’s flooding dilemma. He said he would investigate the situation in hopes of finding a suitable resolution.
Other flooding problems
Madison Township was not the only entity experiencing water woes. Residents in the Wingate Road and Winchester Pike area returned to the trustees with the same problem they have dealt with for many years-flooded basements, water ponding in yards, and storm sewer backups.
"I’ve had the same incident happen three times in the last three to four years. My basement is filled with water because of the storm sewer," reported resident Jean Bepler. "We’re concerned about what we’re going to do about this storm sewer problem."
Although residents were looking for the township to offer relief from their flooding issues, and despite a day-long tour of area drains as rain poured down, Hummel said the situation will continue because of the condition and design of a tile located on private property unless it is repaired. He called the drain system a hodgepodge of construction due to different developments and said it is "woefully insufficient."
"We want to help," offered Hummel, who made suggestions regarding homeowners paying out of pocket for repairs or contacting a legal advisor to force the property owner to repair the tile, "but we have no authority to go on private property to work on drainage. It’s the law."
Fellow trustee Dennis White added, "We want to help in any way we can, but the law says we can’t take tax money and use it to pay for work on 30 private homes."