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Toepel, M. G.; Theobald, H. Rupert (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1962

Administrative branch,   pp. [371]-[548] PDF (54.0 MB)

Page 544

         servation program by the federal government under its
         drought relief, water conservation, and emergency relief
      b. Supervises the "construction, strengthening and mainten-
         ance of the Portage Levee system in such manner as in
         their judgment will best protect the vicinity from the over-
         flow of the Wisconsin River."
   2. Adopts regulations covering the operation, maintenance, and
      repair of dams, levees, and other works under its supervision
      in the interest of flood protection; and of drainage control,
      for the promotion of agriculture, water conservation, irriga-
      tion, and conservation.
   3. Employs labor, purchases materials, and purchases or leases
      needed machinery and equipment.
   4. Operates the drainage control and flood protection structures
      so as to control water levels for the most beneficial land-
      water use, with due consideration for rights and desires of
      the landowners.
   5. Makes co-operative agreements with landowners and other
      interests to provide for such use.
   6. Works in close co-operation with persons, landowners, or
      organizations in the operation and maintenance of levees,
      dikes, dams, and other structures.
   The drainage control and water conservation dams require con-
siderable supervision of maintenance and operation because of the
isolated location of most of the structures and because the safety
of the dams requires that the stop logs in the gate openings be
promptly removed before floods occur and that they be promptly
closed after the floods have passed. The dams are frequently lo-
cated less than one mile apart in order to insure desirable control
of water levels. The failure of one dam may cause the failure of
a series of dams on the same ditch or stream.
   The Portage Levee system consists of approximately 9 miles of
earth levees on the south side of the Wisconsin River in Columbia
and Sauk Counties, protecting the farm lands, homes, highways,
and bridges lying between the Wisconsin River and the lower
Baraboo River; and about 8 miles of levees on the north side of
the Wisconsin River, protecting not only portions of the Towns
of Lewiston and Pacific, and a portion of the City of Portage, but
also the entire Fox River Valley from Portage to Lake Winnebago.
  The maintenance of the levee system requires constant attention
to prevent and repair damage due to erosion, wave, and current
action during flood periods, damage caused by burrowing animals;
and to remove trees, brush, vines, and other growth from the
  During flood periods, constant patrol must be maintained to
locate and to repair and strengthen places weakened by water
pressure and by seepage through the levees.

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