School district digs into standing water quandary

A CLOSER LOOK — The area where standing water has become an issue — just east of the tennis courts at the high school — was recently dug up so the drainage tile could be jetted.

By Per Peterson

Tracy Area High School Supt. Chad Anderson joked with the District No. 2904 School Board Monday that he never thought he would learn so much about drainage tile. As it is, Anderson has received a crash course on the subject since the July 3 flood in Tracy.

Anderson said standing water surrounding the tennis courts and the land south of the football field/track and field complex after heavy rains is typical. However, that water has had more staying power recently than ever before, leading to concerns over the century-plus old drainage system.

“Years ago it would sit there for a little bit; for the last few years I’ve noticed the water has really started to stand there for a long time,” Anderson said. “Yes, the ground is saturated this year; yes, we’ve had record-setting rains, but still it seems like it sat around for a very long time.”

Anderson said the problem area was recently dug up and the tile jetted. He said one problem is the root system under the evergreen trees right next to the football field.

Board member Matt Surprenant, who is also a member of the school district’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, said a camera was run into the tile in that area and confirmed there was a root issue there.

“We were a little puzzled by the tree roots at the football field — usually evergreens don’t give us a problem,” he said. “That’s why we decided to jet that out and fix that cheap.”

From that area, the tile runs to the north and east and eventually goes underneath the practice football field as it heads toward Greenwood. Surprenant said another issue with tree roots was discovered northeast of the practice football field. Four trees were removed from that area, but Surprenant believes there might be some broken tile in that area as well.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.