View All Posts
Posted on May 22, 2017 at 4:01 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 5/22/2017
Hearings or Meetings:
& JD34 (LeRay Twp.) We will be
having final improvement hearings coming up at the June 6th Board of Commissioners
meeting. More details of specific times
will be given closer to actual board meeting date.
(Lincoln Twp.) Both the boring crew and pipe laying crews were working intermittently
last week with the very wet conditions we had.
The boring crew will not be able to work until their boring pit can be
pumped out and left to dry for a few days.
The pipe crew will also have a slow go of things after heavy rains from
last week. The pipe crew didn’t get as
much installed as they hoped, both because of weather and tougher than expected
working conditions. If we can catch a
break and miss some of this rain that is expected yet for this week, that
would help both crews enormously.
(Beauford Twp.) DMI crews made a few
miscellaneous connections last week as the old pipe continued to drain into the
newly-installed pipe. Hopefully crews
are able to finish installing the new pipe and get the rest of the site cleaned
up. This new pipe repair goes through
some prime farm ground, so I’m sure the growers are looking forward to this
project wrapping up and getting some soybeans planted.
The heavy rains of last week have definitely slowed the pace
of our construction projects. We have
two major projects going on at the same time, and many smaller repair type
items going on as well. Last week did us
no favors from any aspect of drainage.
Both of our major projects saw very little gains in getting
more done last week, due in-part to the heavy rains. Both of these projects need to get finished
as soon as we can, as these both are in areas of agriculture and growers are
wishing to get these areas planted.
We can’t control the weather, as we learned last year, but
we do have two very good contractors on these two projects and I’m sure they
will be doing their best to keep things as close to schedule as possible.
As part of any improvement project, or even repair project
for that matter, we are always looking for ways to improve water quality. We have a few major projects going on this
year and we are incorporating quite a few water quality structures in these
One of these such projects is CD56 (Garden City and Lincoln
Townships) which is a major repair project.
We are going to be cleaning many miles of open ditch and making multiple
ditch bank repairs along the way. The
brush and trees will be removed from along the ditch area, all the way out to
16.5 feet from the top of the ditch.
This will be very challenging in the areas in town in Lake Crystal, but
it is part of our maintenance obligation to maintain the ditches.
Part of this CD56 repair project is to install multiple
areas of WASCOB’s (Water and Sediment Control Basins). These WASCOB’s will help reduce the amount of
sediment and nutrients making it into the open ditch. The WASCOB’s design is to pond up, or hold
water in a smaller basin area so that sediment and nutrients can slowly fall
out of suspension and the resulting cleaner water then will pass through a
smaller tile into the open ditch.
WASCOB’s aren’t really overly new to the drainage world, we
have been incorporating them into other projects on smaller scales here and
there. This repair project will have ten
or more of these WASCOB’s installed along the open ditch portions in specifically
engineered areas that are fit for these structures.
These structures don’t come free or necessarily
cheap. The price tag could be a large
part of why we don’t see them more on projects. We have been working with our local Blue Earth County SWCD
since this repair project came to light to incorporate these and possibly other
clean water structures into the mix.
Jared Bach from the Blue Earth County SWCD has been working hard to help us
find funding for these costly clean water structures. This is a huge blessing and hopefully the
start of a good trend, being able to partner with our local SWCD to help fund
our clean water structures and ultimately help cut the costs down on projects.
We have other clean water structures that we are hoping to
incorporate into this project on CD56, but we know that not all the funding can
come from SWCD funds alone. We have a
few other major projects coming up this year for bid, and we have also looked
into funding availability for those projects as well. The state has made it very clear on their
direction for clean water, and we at Blue Earth County Drainage are always
trying to do our part for water quality.
Every little bit helps and hopefully going forward these clean water
structures just become a construction standard at some point. Drainage is a part of all of our lives - from
our ditches to our ground water, we all at some level, somehow are affected by
On a friendly side note, I was busy over the weekend at a
horse show in Verndale, Minnsota. My wife
and her family are very active in the world of horse riding and showing Arabian
horses. My wife this past weekend showed
in our first of many shows for this year.
She and her horse “Pete”, as we call him, did fantastic and had a great
showing in four different classes of riding.
We ended the weekend with three 3rd places and one 1st
place. Verndale is a long drive but well
worth it with such a great showing.
Inspections – week of May 15 – May 19:
(Lyra Twp.) We had a landowner call
about a couple areas in his field that had sink holes starting, as the old tile
is just separating and sucking dirt through the pipe.
I had a very busy week last week with multiple meetings
and being gone on Friday. I didn’t have
as many inspections as past weeks, but I’m sure there will be more coming in
after these rains again. I also try to
stop by my construction projects a few times a week just to see how things are
coming along. The rains of last week
slowed most of the projects down to a slow crawl or a halt. We need some nice weather to get a couple of
these projects finished and also so we can start on some other large repair and
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
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.
Drainage Management Specialist