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I have been meaning to write something in this section for some time along the lines of the subject of the article by Rick Nelson about roadside ditches. For years it has bothered me that the highway departments have been very aggressive in their treatment of drainage ditches. There is a saying: "The solution to pollution is dilution." It is appropriate here in that instead of deepening and widening existing roadside ditches, let the runoff water filter into the adjacent lands. It is now being directed and concentrated directly toward our drinking water.

Some of the ditches are downright dangerous, exceeding 5 feet deep in areas. There are many examples you can see as you drive the roads and ask yourself why are these ditches even there. The surrounding land will generally absorb the runoffs created by rain and are better able to filter the contaminants carried with that water. The side ditches have become a driving danger as well as a direct pipeline to our lakes. Let the land be used as a buffer as it has forever. The farm land won't generally be affected. Sometime, as you drive along, imagine the extreme funneling of the field drains and roadway runoff into these drainage ditches, and where it soon winds up. So much faster than what the ditches initially were made for. The "solution to pollution is dilution" in this instance. The land is a better filter than our lakes.

Gary Porten

Auburn

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