Asked February 04, 2020, 1:09 PM EST

We have a question regarding our 16 acre property in Grand Traverse County. Upon purchase of our property the 16 acres was dry more than likely due to a 'dry season'. Spring came and we discovered a 'wetland type environment' covering approx 10 acres of our land . We have lived here 3 years now and the water is becoming severe; we aren't able to walk half of it due to the amount of standing water. The previous owner had horses therefore fence posts and barbed wire divide the land. We discovered a very nostalgic 1800's type wagon sinking in the now muck. Perplexed we began investigating the surrounding neighbors. Low and behold, we discovered a black 18" tube 25 feet from our property line. The tube contains flowing water from an 'Artesian well' that was hit 2003 by the Township/County when they placed a drinking water holding tank. Township officials made the call at that time to allow the well to flow freely vs plugging the water flow. They feel today the same. The concerns we have today are these: *The once mature hardwood trees aren't thriving; their roots are now above the ground . The young Cedar trees we can push right over along with saplings. *Seems as if flowing Artesian Wells would be protected since their water source so pure. *Swamp smell in the late summer months is quite overwhelming and mosquitos carry us away. *Since the water is now sitting above ground 12 months out of the year due to a higher water table... won't that create the soil to shrink taking up space for the underground water channels to reside? *Water Changes to surrounding drinking wells. Can standing water such as ours for a long period of time in the vicinity of farm land cause an issue such as low levels of Arsenic to seep into private wells.. the previous owner had two strokes (non genetic) while living in this house for 17 years; The neighbor next door to us has lived in her home the past 18 years had 2 strokes and passed away her 3rd. It seems our initial hopes for raising sheep or a Lavender Farm have been squelched. So what are our options at this point? Our land is unusable, unstable, unpredictable. The Township has made is clear it is not in their budget to change anything in regards to the flowing well, therefore it is up to us to live with the standing water. Or???? Dig a huge pond??

Grand Traverse County Michigan

Expert Response

Intentionally flooding someone else's property is not a good thing unless it was always designated a wetland.  Our heavy rains in the last two years and raised lakes statewide have similar stories from across the state. 

I recommend that you contact EGLE to see what can be done and your County Drain Commissioner.. that pipe may not necessarily be a well but  possibly a drain.  

If appears that your new wetland is going to be a permanent addition to your property, I can help you to manage it for wildlife and water quality.  
Beth Clawson Replied February 05, 2020, 11:40 AM EST

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