View All Posts

May 08

Goals and New Programs

Posted on May 8, 2017 at 5:22 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 5/8/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


No upcoming hearings or meetings are scheduled at this time.



Project Updates:


·         CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) The pipe boring crew was still hard at it trying to push new sections of pipe under Blue Earth County Road 30.  The boring crew had a few setbacks with the rains that flooded their trench box.  Recent nice weather should have them making great progress this week.  Pipe install crews can continue once the pipe is bored under CR 30. 


·         CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  Crews are back hard at it today installing new pipe east of Blue Earth County Road 174.  If the weather stays nice, crews are hoping to have almost all of the new pipe installed this week and to start with cleaning up the site next week.


Drainage Minutes:


The drainage blog has moved to Monday afternoons and will remain that way going forward.  One of the big changes we are slowly trying to make is to have more involvement between our Drainage office in the Taxpayer Services Department and Environmental Services Department.  We are hoping to be able to better share equipment and technological resources going forward.

Starting last week, the Drainage team is now sharing a county pickup truck on three days of the week.  The pickup truck will be used by Drainage personal to do almost all of the inspections during the week.  We also use an ATV, that I have mentioned in previous blogs, that will be pulled by this truck on those designated inspection days.   Looking towards the future, I think the shared usage of common resources will be very beneficial to both departments involved. 

Many farmers have been out planting in the last few days. 
We have been seeing a spike in calls for repair needs.  Many of the issues are with county tile, but also sloughs on the open ditches.  This is a good thing that the landowners or renters are being very good about reporting these issues quickly so we can get them fixed in a timely manner.  Repairs will be harder to make the later the season gets, so if you know of issues on a county public drainage system, please don’t hesitate to call us. 


25 X 25:

A message from the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board went out giving details of a new plan of action from the Governor’s office. 
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor have rolled out a goal of improving water quality by 25% by the year 2025.  This ambitious goal from the Governor’s office will have the support of multiple state agencies and local partners.  Their ultimate objective is to identify regional and specific priorities that work locally to achieve this 25% improvement to water quality.   They are going to be hosting local town hall-type meetings to discuss how this can be implemented and achieved.  Mankato will be one of those sites for these meetings, August 17.  No specifics yet of time or place have been given.  For more information, click here.



A Milestone kick-off for conservation in Minnesota is starting soon.  A press release from BWSR (Board of Water and Soil Resources) says that they are kicking off their CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) programs as of May 15, 2017.  MN CREP is a state & federal program that is completely voluntary.  The reason for the program is ultimately to help water quality.

One of the major reasons for this program is to give more options to growers and landowners who have areas that may be coming out of CRP programs this year.  
The state of Minnesota is hoping to restore or protect 60,000 plus acres of marginal cropland across the state.

The program has substantial funding, including $350 million coming from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), with an additional $150 million needed from state sources and clean water organizations.  The FSA (Farm Service Agency) and BWSR are the two major forces that will be administering this program, with multiple partners helping behind the scenes as well.

This program is designed to both help improve water quality and also give the farmer some relief from trying to farm these tougher, more marginal acres.  For more information on this, contact your local FSA office or click to read more about this article.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of May 1 – May 5:


·         JTD01 FAR. (Sterling Twp.)  Inspected a new skimmer structure to help keep debris from getting into our county tile line and plugging things up.

·         CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Multiple locations of sink holes forming along old county tile lines.

·         CD38 (Shelby Twp.)  I inspected a very large blow-out along a section of county tile line, just east of Amboy.  This will be a pretty major fix.  This hole is 12 – 15 feet deep and almost 60 feet wide.  See photo for more details.cd38 blow out

·         CD63 (Decoria Twp.)  Issues with multiple locations of tile separations causing sink hole areas.

·         CD66 (Beauford Twp.)  Issues with water backing up out of the county tile intake structure and flooding a neighboring field.  Further televising will be needed to check for further unseen issues with the pipe.


Upcoming Drainage Inspections:


·         JD38 (Sterling Twp.)

·         CD56 (Garden City Twp.)

·         JD49 (Sterling Twp.)

·         CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.) partial

·         CD01 (McPherson Twp.)

·         CD83 (McPherson Twp.)

·         CD74 (Ceresco Twp.)


Please call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage department.  We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.


We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.





Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist