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Posted on November 6, 2017 at 6:10 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 11/6/2017
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
No upcoming meetings or hearings.
Local River Threats:
finished reading a couple articles discussing drainage and local ongoing issues. Since the 1970’s, more than $1 billion has been contributed to the Minnesota
River for improving the 330
plus miles of river - to clean up the sediment and address nitrate issues. Much of that sediment and nitrates is picked
up from the millions of agricultural acres that drain into the Minnesota River,
which then eventually empties to the Mississippi and makes its way to the Gulf of
Minnesota is well
known for monitoring and tracking water quality, as water is one of our greatest assets. The problem isn’t a city / farm issue
alone. Many cities and large manufacturers
have made changes to how they handle their wastewater. Just as many farmers rely on precision
agriculture to use less fertilizer and less herbicides/insecticides to grow
their crops. Over the years, our per gallon
contaminants in the Minnesota River have gone down, but the levels of contaminants
haven’t really dropped. How is this
possible one would ask. It's due to large volumes of water reaching the river systems
more quickly after major rain events.
Mankato, drinking water issues have been an ongoing issue. Removing nitrates and phosphorus from the water we drink continue to be a
large expense. The days of pointing fingers are over and we are working on solutions and
We don’t have all the natural aquifers, swamps, and lakes like we used to have. Those swamps and lakes acted as a natural filter removing some of the contaminants before traveling through the soil profile to the ground water sources. One of the best ways to help prevent erosion issues from peak flows, and to also reduce
sediment and containments, is to store water.
The article I read touched on how locally
(in the Mapleton area) we have made some cutting-edge changes in the world of drainage
and water management. Blue Earth County
CD57 is an industry leader in respects to the new technologies used for water storage, reducing peak flood flows, and managing downstream impacts to
additional landowners. It’s no secret that the increase of private tiling has impacted our streams, rivers, and
lakes. We have local tools and industry
leaders to work with to hopefully resolve some of these ongoing issues with
facts from the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency):
nitrate pollution comes from agricultural drainage systems.
nitrates from wastewater treatment.
nitrates from atmospheric conditions.
nitrates from septic systems.
1% from urban
I know that
local studies can give some different numbers, and I’ve seen studies that
support urban runoff contributes much more than 1%. The point is we know the reasons for the
issues and we need to address how to fix it - by creating storage points for water to
filter itself out before flowing downstream and having a greater chance of
making its way to our drinking water supplies.
Some good reading in our local Mankato Free Press. Click on links for more info: http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/torrential-flows-threaten-area-rivers/article_55d4bff0-b9af-11e7-97a7-0b189aef9605.html
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 30 – November 3:
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.
Drainage Management Specialist