156-69. Nature of the survey; conservation and replacement of fish and wildlife habitat; structures to control and store water.

The engineer and viewers shall have power to employ such assistants as may be necessary to make a complete survey of the drainage district, and shall enter upon the ground and make a survey of the main drain or drains and all its laterals. The line of each ditch, drain, or levee shall be plainly and substantially marked on the ground. The course and distance of each ditch shall be carefully noted and sufficient notes made, so that it may be accurately plotted and mapped. A line of levels shall be run for the entire work and sufficient data secured from which accurate profiles and plans may be made. Frequent bench marks shall be established among the line, on permanent objects, and their elevation recorded in the field books. If it is deemed expedient by the engineer and viewers, other levels may be run to determine the fall from one part of the district to another. If an old watercourse ditch, or channel is being widened, deepened, or straightened, it shall be accurately cross-sectioned so as to compute the number of cubic yards saved by the use of such old channel. A drainage map of the district shall then be completed, showing the location of the ditch or ditches and other improvements and the boundary, as closely as may be determined by the records, of the lands owned by each individual landowner within the district. The location of any railroads or public highways and the boundary of any incorporated towns or villages within the district shall be shown on the map. There shall also be prepared to accompany this map a profile of each levee, drain, or watercourse, showing the surface of the ground, the bottom or grade of the proposed improvement, and the number of cubic yards of excavation or fill in each mile or fraction thereof, and the total yards in the proposed improvement and the estimated cost thereof, and plans and specifications, and the cost of any other work required to be done.

The board of viewers shall consider the effect of the proposed improvements upon the habitat of fish and wildlife, and the laws and regulations of the Commission for Public Health. Their report shall include their recommendations and the estimated cost thereof, as to the conservation and replacement of fish and wildlife habitat, if they shall determine such shall be damaged or displaced by the proposed improvement. The board, to determine their recommendations, may consult governmental agencies, wildlife associations, individuals, or such other sources as they may deem desirable, to assist them in their considerations of and recommendations relating to, the conservation and replacement of fish and wildlife habitat.

The board of viewers shall consider the need for and feasibility of, the construction of structures which will do one or more of the following:

(1) Control the flow of water,

(2) Impound or store water and,

(3) Provide areas for conservation and replacement of fish and wildlife habitat.

If structures are recommended for any one or more of said purposes, their report shall include:

(1) Specifications therefor.

(2) Location thereof together with the description of the area of land needed for the purpose of said structure, i.e., water storage or impoundment, or fish and wildlife habitat.

(3) Estimate of cost thereof.

The report of the board of viewers shall set forth, in regard to the foregoing, the following information:

(1) The areas of land needed for construction and maintenance of:

a. The canals and drainage system.

b. Structures to:

1. To control the water,

2. Impound or store water and,

3. To conserve and replace fish and wildlife habitat.

(2) Upon whose land such areas are located.

(3) The area of land necessary to be acquired from each landowner.

The map accompanying the report shall have shown thereon, the location of the areas of land needed for the construction and maintenance of the following:

(1) The canal and drainage system.

(2) Structures to:

a. Control the flow of water,

b. Impound or store the water,

c. Conserve and replace fish and wildlife habitat.

The board of viewers may, in its discretion, agree with the Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture or any agency of the government of the United States or of the State of North Carolina whereby such agency will furnish all or a part of the service necessary to obtain the information set forth in the preceding paragraph and in G.S. 156-68.

The board of viewers may accept such information as furnished by such agencies and include such information in their final report to the clerk.

The board of viewers and engineers of the district may use control or semicontrol, mosaic aerial photographs or other sources and stereoscopic or other methods, generally used and deemed acceptable by civil and drainage engineers for the purpose of obtaining the information required in this section and in lieu of a detailed ground survey. In the event a detailed ground survey is not made, only those ground markings need be made as the board of viewers deem necessary. The location of the proposed canals must be shown on the ground prior to actual construction. (1909, c. 442, s. 10; C.S., s. 5327; 1959, c. 597, s. 1; 1961, c. 614, ss. 5, 9; 1965, c. 1143, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 2007-182, s. 2.)