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Posted on February 27, 2018 at 8:55 AM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 2/26/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
CD35 (Mapleton Twp.) We will be
hosting an informational landowner meeting for this public drainage system. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss
ongoing issues with the system, including cost of repairs and possible
improvement ideas. Landowners affected
by this system should have received a notice from Blue Earth County containing
details of times and dates of this meeting.
For questions or concerns pertaining to this meeting or this system
please call or email.
The last two
weeks have been quite busy with meetings and seminars. I was fortunate enough to attend two separate
seminars. The two seminars were very
different in nature, except one common theme from both that grabbed my interest. The one common theme from the two different seminars
was phosphorus. While they were different
seminars, they both relayed that we need to do more and change our
thought process about phosphorus. It was
very interesting to listen to the different scientists, engineers and experts of
soil chemistry and fertility.
All of the discussion
showed that we have a major issue with sediment runoff and the ill effects of
phosphorus in the water column. As many
of us know, phosphorus is a major component to healthy plant life. Phosphorus is unhealthy when it’s introduced
to water, via sediment movement or by dissolved phosphorus through water. Too much phosphorus in water can cause oxygen
levels to drop and mineral and organic levels to increase.
years now, we have been trying to contain sediment and nutrient contamination
by installing ponds or storm water basins.
Many of these ponds and basins end up draining at some point to a wetland,
stream, lake or river. The problem then
is these contaminants move to the next body of water. Sometimes the phosphorus moves through the
sediment, but mostly it is the dissolved phosphorus that’s water soluble. All of the experts agreed that this sediment
and phosphorus has been banking up for decades.
The effects from these decades of banking will last even longer as the
sediment in these wetlands, ponds, rivers and streams can actually re-release
the particulate phosphorus into a dissolved phosphorus. This happens usually in the heat of the
summer when mineral and organic levels turn the water into an anaerobic
situation, and the phosphorus and sediment actually separate and the phosphorus
is now released into a soluble form.
bullet method is known for dealing with slowing down or curing this situation
as of yet. Some have tested, or are
currently testing, the ideas of installing more settling basins and then
cleaning the basins on a routine schedule.
Aluminum sulfate has also been tested in hundreds of water bodies. Aluminum sulfate can actually permanently bind
phosphorus to sediment so it wouldn’t re-dissolve into dissolved phosphorus.
All in all,
we are getting closer to an answer for why we are seeing greener lakes and dirtier
rivers and streams. The big question is,
has this happened before in history? Is
this a cycle that we are currently going through? The blame for this situation can be shared by town
and country. We need to focus on
the why and then on the how. Why is
this happening and how can we work to fix it?
Can it be fixed? I know for me
personally it opened my eyes to look at what we are doing for phosphorus and sediment
reductions. They were good speakers at both
seminars, and I encourage people interested in this topic to read more on these
speakers. Speakers included: Joe Bischoff
(Aquatic Ecologist with Wenck Associates), Dr. Don Flaten (University of
Manitoba) and Tim Radatz (MAWRC, Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center).
Public Works Funds:
billion funding package for public works construction is on the discussion table at the Minnesota Legislature. $167 million out of this package would help
aging wastewater facilities to make much needed upgrades, which in turn
improve water quality across the state. Click to read more.
Recent Drainage Inspections – weeks of February 12 – February 23:
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.
Frosty day at the farm Saturday morning.
Drainage Management Specialist