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Drainage ditch needs improvement work on Indy's southeast side

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Posted at 7:14 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 23:12:43-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Flooding is creating a significant problem for a man who is blaming a drainage ditch on private property. And heavy rains make the situation dire.

For three years Randy Rinear has lived off of Prospect Street on the southeast side. During that time, Rinear says the drainage system has been a concern with standing water almost always being a concern. Which, in turn, creates a flooding issue and also a significant mosquito problem.

"I just wish they would fix the problem and get the water to run down to the city sewer like it supposed to," Rinear said.

Rinear is starting to lose hope that improvements will be made to a drainage ditch across from his home.

"I've been dealing with it for three years - you just kind of give up. You can't sit on the front porch, it's not much of a house, but I built the front porch, and it's really nice in the summertime - it's relaxing," Rinear said. "You try to sit out here, and the mosquitoes will about take you away."

According to Rinear, when there is heavy rain, the water doesn't flow down the drainage ditch because of the grass and land stopping it. And unfortunately, it ends up flowing back through the system and into his yard.

"It floods the front yard. It backs up into the culvert," he said. "It backflows and floods the front yard."

According to the Department of Public Works, the drainage ditch is on private property where Wilhelm Construction is located. DPW says it's their responsibility to maintain the infrastructure, so it doesn't create a public environmental nuisance.

RTV6 alerted Wilhelm Construction to the issues and they submitted this response:

"The Wilhelm team looked into the drainage issue you brought to our attention. We do own the property located across the street and the drainage ditch is located on our property. The ditch is also subject to the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works right-of-way and easement impacts.

During our investigation of this matter, we have discovered that the drainage issue you inquired about is part a larger area with design and engineering issues that need to be addressed by the Department of Public Works."

According to DPW, they have been coordinating with Wilhelm Construction on the best solution for the location. They submitted the following statement to RTV6:

"We have indeed been coordinating with Wilhelm on the best solution for this location. As stated before, the ditch in question is on private property, to be maintained by the private property owner. As public drainage assets along Prospect Street feed into the ditch on Wilhelm’s property, and public assets along Emerson Avenue receive stormwater from the ditch, our Operations team is working to provide Wilhelm with helpful information to optimize their maintenance planning."

Rinear hopes something is done soon so he can enjoy his yard this summer without worrying about floodwater and additional mosquitoes.