New pump and drainage system planned for Fountain Grove Conservation Area of Livingston County

Waterfowl at Fountain Grove Conservation Area

The Missouri Conservation Commission has approved a contract for a project to install a pump station and drainage system to improve wetland habitat management at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Fountain Grove Conservation Area in Livingston County. The contract for the eight point three million dollar project was approved with Lehman Construction, LLC of California, Missouri.

Construction is expected to begin in February and be complete by August 1st, 2020. This is Phase 2 of MDC’s Golden Anniversary Wetland Renovation program at Fountain Grove.

MDC Wildlife Management Biologist Chris Freeman reports the pump station will include three electric pumps pulling water from the Grand River, which will replace a single diesel pump. The change will increase the volume of water that can be pumped and allow for more variance in flows according to weather and waterfowl needs at the 79 hundred (7,906)-acre conservation area. Water will only be pumped if the flow in the Grand River is sufficient, so pumping does not affect the river’s ecology or agriculture uses.

There will also be a new drainage structure for the west side wetland complex to allow water to be pulled from various wetland pools as needed and leave levels up in other pools. Currently all west side pools must be drained at the same time.

Fountain Grove Conservation Area is a migration stop during the fall and spring for ducks, geese, and shorebirds. The area provides marshes, bottomland forests, grain fields, and oxbow lakes for a variety of wildlife.