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Jul 24

Minnesota's Check on Water Quality

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 4:17 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/24/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


No upcoming meetings are scheduled as of this time.



Project Updates:


·    CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Pretty quiet week mostly because the heavy rains shut things down for a few days.  Crews are still working at cleaning the open ditch and clearing trees and brush.  We should have seeding crews coming through the areas that have been completed fairly soon



Serious Water Quality Issues and Admitting the Reality:


Nearly a decade has passed since Minnesota passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.  Many Minnesotans are now asking for dramatic change with water management reform instead of major additional funding.


For years the EPA and federal agencies have been the driving force behind water quality reform, both financially and regulatory.  Many Minnesotans feel it’s time to take responsibility on a local level.  The feeling is that funding isn’t necessarily the issue, but the union of citizens and government officials to work better together to resolve Minnesota water quality issues.


This union of citizens and government at a state and local level has worked in the past, and an article I read speaks of one such example. 

In the 1990’s the state of New York faced serious water quality issues with huge levels of Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels in their reservoirs.  Open water areas were choked with algae blooms.  New York citizens and politicians put their political differences aside to formalize a clear water plan as a state.  In just a few years, water quality was considerably better and billions were saved in maintence costs because of better quality of water.


As Minnesotans, I think we have a high level of pride for our state and what it offers.  We know that there is a great concern for improving water quality.  Yes, we currently have many different governing groups that oversee water systems in the state, but in general I think we all want better quality water. 

I can’t speak for every watershed district or county, but for Blue Earth County we have always tried to be innovative and leaders in the effort for clean waters.
  People are asking for a one watershed plan, set at the state level.  If this is to happen, it will take the collective efforts of many local government agencies and local watershed districts to develop this plan.  We have already started on such a plan with our “one watershed, one plan” that we have been developing and working with BWSR (Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources) for the past few years to develop. 

We know we don’t have to depend on help coming from the federal level of government, especially when we can create change quicker from our own local people working together.
  Water is one of Minnesota’s biggest assets, working together to preserve that asset for the generations to come after us is the challenge and driving force for the need for change.


The article is a good one to read, and if you're interested in reading the full content of the article please click, to find out more.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 17 – July 21:


·    JD45 (Mapleton Twp.)  A section of old concrete tile where two pipes “Y” together is collapsing.  New HDPE “Y” section of pipe is ordered and will be installed by Krengel Brothers Tiling from Mapleton.


·    JD38 (Shelby Twp.)  Sellers Construction finished the repairs needed on this large “blow out” area just east of Amboy.  New 36 inch pipe was installed and a larger rock water spillway area was installed with 36 inch drop intake.  Pictures below show the reconstruction of the major blow out and wetland intake area.

 36 inch new stand pipe intakeJD38 new waterway structurenew intake structure of new 36 inch drop intakejd38 new structure by Nienow wetland


·    CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  With the official start of the County Road 12 expansion, I was curious to see how progress was coming as we have a major public ditch crossing that is part of our CD12 repair project.  As soon as the new contractor can make this new crossing, we plan on having our contractor follow up by getting the CD12 ditch cleaning going and done.


·    Slower week due mostly to the heavy rains shutting down projects a few days and busy week of meetings.



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