Heartland residents tour Soap Creek Watershed
WAPELLO COUNTY, IOWA —
Nearly 60 people showed up at a barn just south of Blakesburg, Iowa, Tuesday morning to go on the Soap Creek Watershed Tour.
The Soap Creek Watershed is 162,000 acres spread across Appanoose, Davis, Monroe and Wapello counties. Its main purpose is to mitigate flooding in southeast Iowa. It contains 132 structures that are designed to reduced floodwater by a quarter.
The way it works is the structures are placed on small pounds and reservoirs. They slow down the water flow through drainage systems, thereby releasing it at a slower pace.
This Watershed program is about more than helping to reduce flooding in the area. It also brings a lot of benefits to people’s daily lives.
“It provides watering sources for livestock. And even beyond that, some of those you’ll see there are hydrants being put in where out in the county you don’t have fire hydrants. Well, you can have fire hydrants out of some of these structures,” said Wapello County Supervisor and Chairman of the Soap Creek Watershed Jerry Parker.
Director of the Iowa Flood Center Witold Krajewski says the program is also beneficial to farmers.
“Now we are entering a drought period. We haven’t had any rain in a while, but through the watershed there’s less concern about cattle and irrigating and so forth,” Krajewski said.
Krajewski says they’re currently working to expand the watershed program to other parts of the state. They’ve also been installing stream gauges to have a better measurement of the structures’ impact.