County of Grande Prairie Council has approved borrowing $1.9-million for what is being called an enhanced ditch cleaning program.

This would see topsoil that was washed into the ditches during flooding dug up and put back onto farmer’s fields.

Public Works Director Dale VanVolkingburgh says they hope will help prevent future flooding in these areas.

“(During) the spring flooding, a lot of the topsoil came off the fields and filled the road ditches. (It) compromised the amount of water we could move through our road ditches. We looked at trying to have a program (where) we could get the topsoil back into the farmer’s field and we could actually have a better road ditch to carry the water where it is supposed to be going.”

He adds they will work with landowners to get the soil back where it came from.

“A lot of the areas where the topsoil was washed off of the fields, they hadn’t seeded because they were still wet or water was still running in there, so we still have some access points. (In) other areas we might not be access to those fields if there’s a crop growing on there. We could maybe work with the landowner to try to do that job in later fall after they’ve harvested.”

VanVolkingburgh says the work will be done in areas throughout the County.

“Maybe there’s a bit more in one area than the other, but  I think we’re going to be touching all areas across the County of Grande Prairie. We have started with one crew starting to do some of the ditch cleaning.”

VanVolkingburgh adds he does not how much work can be completed this summer.