For Immediate Release
July 12, 2019
Kate Flavin


County Seeks Solutions to Groundwater Flooding

(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Following a special meeting on Tuesday, June 25, Sedgwick County officials are taking steps to assist homeowners in south Sedgwick County (District 2) who are battling groundwater flooding their basements following record rainfall in the area.

The Board of County Commissioners recommended several administrative steps designed to provide relief for the homeowners who have groundwater flooding problems in the unincorporated areas of south central Sedgwick County.

“We are going to work with the affected residents and try to find solutions,” 2nd District Commissioner Michael O’Donnell said. “The measures represent a collaborative effort by County staff who will work with property owners and keep the BOCC updated.”

Sedgwick County Public Works will work with Salem Township to review water flow and clean debris from affected ditches. If possible, ditch clearing and other maintenance will be performed so that any water residents are pumping from their homes can adequately flow from the area.  

The Sedgwick County Counselor’s Office will review the possibility of a tax abatement for homes affected by the ongoing groundwater flooding.

Seeking a long-term solution, Sedgwick County officials will launch an education campaign to inform affected residents of a process to establish a special project and taxing district. In 2015, a similar project helped address flooding along the 71st and Hydraulic area.

“It’s important that we work together as a region to learn about ways to solve this issue,” 4th District Commissioner Lacey Cruse said. “Water is our most precious resource, by working together we may be able to develop ways to put this water to good use and out of our basements.”

 A County work team, led by Assistant County Manager Tania Cole and Environmental Resources Director Susan Erlenwein, will organize an upcoming meeting with groundwater flooding experts and other stakeholders to discuss, analyze, and work toward a long-term solution of the groundwater flooding. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 8 at Haysville Middle School, 900 W. Grand Ave.

Sedgwick County 5th Commissioner Jim Howell encouraged residents to attend the August 8 meeting.

“We need to hear from you, he said. “Your voice matters. The devastating water infiltration being experienced by these homeowners is both heartbreaking and frustrating. I’ll continue my commitment to advocate for both short-term and long-term practical solutions.”

A status report of these initiatives will be discussed at the Tuesday, August 20 Commission staff meeting.