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Sep 12

Rural Waters

Posted on September 12, 2017 at 8:51 AM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 9/11/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

(Northern and Southern Petitions) Official bid awarding will be part of the September 12 Board of Commissioners meeting.

JD34 Official bid awarding will also be held on September 12, 2017, at the Board of Commissioners meeting.


Project Updates


  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  The contractor has finished the open ditch cleaning part of this repair project.  Subcontractors were busy seeding buffer seed mixes in the town of Lake Crystal last week.  Spreading of spoils piles, seeding buffers and installing a new concrete culvert crossing on township road 449 Ave in Lincoln Township, are the few major remaining things to finish on this repair project.
  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  A new large concrete culvert crossing has been installed as of last Thursday.  This new culvert is much wider and considerably larger.  The new culvert crossing is part of the new Blue Earth County Highway 12 expansion project.  We have a drainage system that has an old open ditch that is in need of major cleaning.  We’ve (drainage office) been waiting for this new culvert to be cd12 new culvertinstalled so we can have our contractor start with cleaning the CD12 open ditch and making necessary repairs to this old public system.  Besides cleaning, we are also establishing a new grassed buffer area on the south side of the open ditch as well as installing multiple new WASCOB's (water and sediment control basin).


Minnesota State of Water:

I read a very good article recently about the state of our water in Minnesota.  This article highlighted two major areas of concern: drinking water and waste water.  It’s a lengthy article but very worth the time.

The subject of drinking water quality is not a new subject by any means.  This article highlights the issues of both poor drinking water quality issues and not enough drinking water in general.  We have many cities, mostly smaller communities, that are struggling with providing clean drinking water.  These smaller cities don’t have the tax base (because of smaller populations) to make major infrastructure repairs and updates to their wells.
One example cited, Lewiston, is fighting an issue with both high levels of nitrates and radium in the drinking water wells they currently use.  They tentatively have a plan in place to tap into a new aquifer that will provide them with cleaner drinking water for the cost of around $1 million dollars.  One million dollars may not sound like much, but Lewiston is not a large community and this will have an impact on local water costs.

Worthington was also talked about for drinking water issues.  Worthington’s issues aren’t necessarily quality, but quantity.  Worthington is running out of water and is actually purchasing 500,000 gallons a day to provide for their community of around 12,500 residents.  The article spoke of how the shortage of water is actually hurting the expansion of agricultural business in town.

The second major topic, and a majority of the article, was waste water.  The article spoke about how there is over 100 communities in the state that have waste water treatment facilities that are 30 years old or older.  Many of those communities have populations of 1,000 people or less.  The article spoke of issues all across the state, citing many different communities experiencing very different issues with their waste water.

The cost to update waste water infrastructure is often very costly, especially for small communities that don’t have the tax base to pay for updates.  The article listed many instances where smaller communities are looking at cheaper alternative ideas working with MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) and various engineering firms to find feasible plans.  Many small communities are depending on federal programs or grants to help fund these much-needed waste water infrastructure updates.  This was a very good article well worth your time to read.  Click here to read more on this subject.


Full Color Fall Expected:


The MN DNR is expecting a nearly perfect fall as far as fall leaf colors go.  They say that with the timely rains this spring and summer combined with many sunny days, we should be in really good shape to have one of the more colorful falls in recent years.

The beautiful changing of leaf colors has a lot to do with both temperature and hours of sunlight.  The different colors and beautiful reds and yellows are caused by trapped fallcolorssugars in the leaf’s vein area.  The amount of moisture we had for the year and days of sunlight determines just how vibrant or dull the leaf colors may be for the fall season.  To read more and also find a map of where and when the fall colors will look their best, click here for a link.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of September 4 – September 8:


  • CD56 (Garden City& Lincoln Twp.) Contractor and crews have been slowly working on getting the open ditch cleaning done.  As of Friday, September 1, the open ditch cleaning was done.  We still have outlet structures and slough areas to fix up, as well as spreading of spoils and seeding to do.  Seeding of buffers in town, City of Lake Crystal, has started. 
  • CD97 (Lyra Twp.)  I meet with a landowner last week with concerns of a beaver issue on this open ditch public drainage system.  It turns out that we found three different beaver dams in just one quarter mile stretch of ditch.  The beavers will have to be trapped and the dams removed as soon as possible this fall.  We will also be doing some tree clearing and brush removal on the north side of this stretch of open ditch on this system that is located just south of Garden City.  A nice grassed buffer area will be established after the tree and brush removal.
  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  I was out inspecting the new concrete culvert that was installed for the new Highway 12 expansion project.  This new crossing will drastically improve our drainage on this public drainage system that is all open ditch.  This drainage ditch will become very important in the very near future as much of the expansion for the city seems to be pushing that direction.
  • CD56 Branch 20 (Lincoln Twp.) We have a contractor making repairs to an all tile branch on this CD56 system.  The contractor is replacing a failed tile system and installing new 18” HDPE pipe.  The contractor is also using a new alignment for this tile to get into deeper and better soils to hopefully extend the longevity of this tile.  As of last Friday, 9/8, the contractor wasn’t quite half way completed with this 2,000 feet of new pipe.  If the weather holds out, this project should be completed within the next couple weeks.cd56 branch 20


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