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Oct 17

Drinking Water

Posted on October 17, 2017 at 7:07 AM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 10/16/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

No upcoming meetings or hearings.


Project Updates


  • CD56 & CD56 branch 20 (Garden City Twp & Lincoln Twp.)  Both of these repair projects are for the most part complete.  There might be a couple final things to clean up, but all of the seeding has been completed as of last Friday.  Our new 18-inch tile install is completed, as well as the old 18-inch tile removal.


Minnesota Annual Drinking Water Quality Update:

drinking water

I recently came across an article from the Minnesota Department of Health about the 2016 drinking water testing results from across Minnesota.

Minnesota has 967 community water systems and thousands of noncommunity water systems.  Noncommunity water systems could include schools or businesses that have their own water supply like: rest stops, state parks, resorts and any facility that doesn’t receive city water. 

The state has a system as to how it tests the drinking water quality and its frequency of testing.  Not all water systems are tested equally.  The MN Department of Health has certain things they are testing for and they include: pesticides and industrial contaminants, bacterial contaminants, nitrate/nitrite, arsenic, radioactive materials, inorganic chemicals, lead and copper. 

So, let’s break some of the report information down quickly.  Over 64,000 tests were conducted in both community and noncommunity systems for pesticides.  Out of all those tests only one violation was found and corrected.  Bacterial contaminants only had 3.2 percent that tested positive for bacteria, some of those were municipal systems.  Only one community system had an issue with excessive nitrate/nitrite numbers.  The water source well was diluted quickly from another fresh water source and new water protection measures were taken to protect this system from future issues.  

Six community water systems were found with excessive amounts of arsenic.  These levels were not reported to be dangerously high, and not to pose any health risks to people.  The rest of the remaining categories (including lead and copper) for the most part tested just fine.  Nothing alarming was found.

The 2016 drinking water test results are very much the same as the last few years; overall Minnesota has safe drinking water, and we continue to have confidence in our drinking water.  Protecting and maintaining our drinking water is a responsibility that extends to every person because we all drink water.  We can better prepare ourselves for future issues with spills, algal blooms, and other contaminants by continuing and also expanding our efforts. 

Education on water issues is the best way to prevent future incidents and accidents.  Education is not the only way to better water quality; technology can also help.  Investments in continued infrastructure are important to keep up with changing treatment needs.  Monitoring equipment for private wells and continued education about stewardship of the land will help too.

For more reading on this subject, click to be redirected to the article.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 9 – October 13:


  • CD56 (Garden City& Lincoln Twp.) Seeding was finished up last week.
  • CD56 Branch 20 (Lincoln Twp.) Contractor finished removing the old problematic HDPE line.  All backfilling and final grading work was also finished last week.
  • CD86 (Decoria Twp.)  We are still working on trying to remove our pesky beaver that has built a very large dam in this open ditch.
  • CD97 (Garden City Twp.)  Three beavers have been removed from this small section of open ditch.  We can now start the task of removing the beaver dams and cleaning the open ditch.  Water levels are rising because of recent rains and these three dams need to be removed relatively soon.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  We have had a contractor making open ditch repairs to this struggling system.  We have ongoing issues with this open ditch with sloughing issues.  We experimented with reshaping the bank and using geotextile fabric and very large riprap (rocks) to stabilize the side bank in a small "test" area.  Picture shows the fabric and rock being placed.  We used a heavy liquid seed/mulch mix to reseed the side banks, as seen by the greenish color in picture.

cd35cd35 2


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