Washington State Groundwater Association

Farmer Sues Subdivision Developers,
Claiming Loss of Water from Drainage System

OREGON (AP) — Farmer Ken Beebe and 10 of his neighbors have sued a large Central Point housing development, claiming they installed a storm drain despite warnings it would dry up their water wells.

The lawsuit filed in Jackson County Court seeks more than $500,000 for the loss of well water and damage to soil and buildings in connection with development of the 239-home Central Point East subdivision.

Named as defendants were developers of the project, including DeCarlow Homes and IMAC West Coast Projects, project engineer Michael Thornton, contractor Southern Oregon Underground, the city of Central Point and Jackson County.

Attorneys for the defendants declined comment.

Beebe said he warned them that digging a trench to channel storm water runoff into Bear Creek would lower the water table and dry up the wells, used for household and irrigation water.

Despite the warnings, the city of Central Point required the drainage system, which was designed and built without first conducting a hydrological study, the lawsuit said.

The plaintiffs have had to drill deeper wells, install holding tanks, have water trucked in or connect to city water, the lawsuit said.

The lowering water table damaged the soil, killed vegetation, and cracked the ground so badly some homes and outbuildings were damaged, the lawsuit said.