View All Posts

Jun 19

Drainage Update 6/19/2017

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 3:49 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 6/19/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


CD83 (McPherson Twp.)  We will be having a landowner meeting to discuss a possible repair project for this ditch system.  This meeting will be held on July 5th.  Location and details of times for this meeting will be in the mailer that landowners for this system will be receiving shortly.


CD76 (McPherson Twp.)  We will be having a landowner meeting to discuss a possible improvement project for this drainage system.  The meeting for this improvement discussion will be held on July 5th.  Landowners and those affected by this system will receive more information on times and location of the meeting.



Project Updates:


·         CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  As we near the final few hundred feet of new pipe install, plans are changing again.  We had been using a boring crew to directional bore new pipe under the paved county roads.  The boring crew had some major issues trying to bore under Blue Earth County Road 13.  The boring crew hit multiple large rocks and issues with sugar sand collapsing their boring area.  We decided last week to take a different route given the challenges of boring.  We have decided to open cut the county road.  CSAH 13 will be closed this Wednesday and possibly Thursday so the crews can install the final sections of new pipe to the open ditch.


·         CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  We did receive our board approval to continue on with this tile repair project.  The additional tile and supplies needed to complete this repair should be showing up this coming week.  Crews are scheduled to start back again this week, after leaving for a short while to go do other work while we awaited our board approval and other supplies.


·         CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Tree removal crews have finished their work in the City of Lake Crystal this past week.  The contractor did some light cleaning around three of the street crossings in town.  The contractor now is moving south of Lake Crystal to start on ditch cleaning and tree and brush removal out in the country side.  This cleaning will be followed up by the installation of 10 new WASCOB’s.  You’ve heard me talk about WASCOB’s before - water and soil control basins.  These structures purposely create a small ponding area that surface water runs to and drains slowly through an intake.  This slower moving ponded water in the structure gives the sediment and other nutrients time to settle out of suspension and fall to the bottom, leaving cleaner water running into the open ditch.


Drainage Minutes:


Not really an overly busy week last week, which is good sometimes.  Most of our projects are running along fine and I’m finding myself staying busy running in between those.  We haven’t had a lot of new repairs reported lately, but that goes with the season now that crops are getting taller.  We’ve had a very busy drainage season already and it will only get busier.  We still have two major projects that are going to be bid fairly soon.  We expect these projects could possibly start late summer or early fall, depending on the contractor and landowner schedules.  Both of these two major projects are over in the Eagle Lake / Madison Lake area, in LeRay Township.

We have a few informal landowner meetings coming up in the near future.  Two of these meetings are in the McPherson Township area and the third is in the Garden City Township area.  The JD17 (Garden City Twp.) landowner meeting is a follow up to our first meeting.  We did some televising and tile investigation to determine what state the system is in. 


Experimental ideas for Crystal Lake:

I had the chance to read a very nice quick article in The Free Press about Crystal Lake in the City of Lake Crystal and the group CWP (Crystal Waters Project).  The history with CWP is that it’s a group of individuals focused on finding solutions to cleaning up the quality of the water in Crystal Lake.

The article talked about some outside-the-box thinking about running an aeration or diffuser unit in the summer time.  These aeration units are commonly found around various lakes in Minnesota in the winter time to supply oxygen to lakes that are at risk for freezing and killing off fish, usually due to the lake's shallow depths. 


The CWP group received a permit from the MN DNR to run four aeration units, but they are only running one unit at the moment.  Members from the CWP group have been keeping very close tabs on this unit to see if there are changes in the water quality.  As part of running the aeration unit, the group is also doing lots of water quality tests and reporting of weather conditions. 


The group didn't say this would be the silver bullet for solving all water quality issues, but it’s a possible start.  The CWP group also notes in the article that they are planning on trying to do more landowner education focused on shoreline restoration using native species of plants to help with water runoff.


The City of Lake Crystal received a $59,000 outdoor recreation grant for this project and to help make needed improvements to Robinson Park upgrades and more planting of native grass species along the shorelines.  The CWP group says it has planted over 1,000 native grasses already and hopes they can more than triple that with the help of this new grant.


The CWP group has been very big supporters for Crystal Lake for many years now.  It’s great to see that their hard work and efforts are being recognized from outside groups.  The grant funding is just one of many milestones this hardworking and very dedicated group has accomplished.  I’m sure that the CWP’s support will only continue to grow, as will their success, by being innovative in their thinking and by being leaders in the field of cleaning up waters.  Hats off to the CWP and all involved for their hard work and dedication.




Recent Drainage Inspections – week of June 12 – June 16:


·         CD05 (Danville Twp.)  I was inspecting the finished product for our new field crossing installation.  Things turned out great and our contractor did a wonderful job. Pictured to the left. cd05 new field crossing 2

·         CD97 (Lyra Twp.)  I received a report of a beaver doing damage to trees and building a dam somewhere on the open ditch portion of this system.  We’ve had issues with beavers on this system before.  I did locate two different beaver dams within a couple hundred yards of each other.  The dams will need to be removed, as will the beaver.  Picture to the lower right is one of the becd97 beaver dam 2aver dams.

CD96 (Danville Twp.) 
Following up on our repair from last year.  Checking on how our stands of grassed waterways are turning out.  The area east of CSAH 14, just two miles north of Minnesota Lake that got turned into a state wetland area, is doing very well.  There is water that is ponding like we had hoped and wildlife enjoying the new area.

·         CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Project site drop-ins. 

·         CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Onsite project inspections and progress updates.

·         CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  Checking on project site.  See if any changes have occurred.




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