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Mar 12

Drainage Update 3/12/2018

Posted on March 12, 2018 at 12:49 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 3/12/2018



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

·         JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  There is a preconstruction meeting for the improvement project for this system today, March 12. Affected landowners should have received notice of details for time and location.  Call the drainage office with questions or concerns.

·         MADI (Minnesota Association of Drainage Inspectors) will be having one of our annual meetings next Monday on the 19th.  These meetings are very helpful and informative.  It’s nice to have a chance to converse with other counties and watershed districts and to see what issues they are having with drainage.  We also usually get to see what new technology is being used in the industry.


Project Updates:


  • Bids for the CD48 improvement project have been received and the winning contractor has been notified.  Official announcement for the winning bid will be announced at the March 13 Board of Commissioners meeting.
  • JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  The preconstruction meeting today will be the unofficial start to the 2018 drainage construction season.
  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  We should see the contractor finish up the last little pieces of this repair project early spring.  I expect that we will have contractors starting work again within a month - that is unless Mother Nature throws us a curve ball yet.


Drainage Update:

Last week was a fairly quiet week for drainage.  We had a couple landowner meetings, one being a joint county meeting.  Both of these landowner meetings were to discuss possible improvements or large-scale repairs needed on both systems.

CD35 is located in Mapleton township and is about 3 miles south of the city of Mapleton.  This system consists of both tile and open ditch.  The open ditch has been an almost non-stop issue of repairs every year, sometimes even multiple times in one year.  We have some tile issues on the northerly part (top-end) of this system.  We’ve had multiple landowner meetings in the last couple years and landowners in the top-end of the system want things better, but it’s tough when the outlet or open ditch area is almost constantly having issues.  We just hosted a landowner meeting last week, during the lovely snowstorm, but landowners left the meeting knowing what we need to do to get both the top-end and the bottom-end of this system back on track.  We discussed a few options, both repair and improvement, but let the landowners know they have options. 

We, as the drainage authority, don’t like to “force” landowners into doing things.  It’s showing to be very beneficial to both landowners and the drainage authority to have these relaxed, less formal meetings to let the landowners know of their options.

We know how confusing drainage law and statutes can be, especially for our landowners that don’t deal with it on a regular basis.  These landowner meetings we hold are not statutorily obligated, but we do it to let landowners know they have options and that some of the options actually have to be started by the landowners themselves.  Improvements and repair petitions both have to come from landowners or an interested party depending on which option is chosen.  The drainage authority can issue repairs up to a certain dollar amount.  We like to have these meetings to let people know we (drainage authority) don’t have the final say in all matters of public drainage.

We’ve had multiple landowner meetings lately with more being put on the calendar every day.  Many of our systems are showing their age and are in need of repairs or complete replacement.  These landowner meetings are our way of having comfortable, friendly discussions with questions and answers.  Many of our projects take multiple landowner meetings.  That’s fine with the drainage authority as we are trying our best to let the landowners know it’s their system and we’re here to help them get it back functioning properly and to do what’s best for the drainage system as a whole.


Recent Drainage Inspections – weeks of March 5 – March 9:


  • JD25 MAT_WAT (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  I was busy getting ready to dig and televise, by locating some utilities and marking out our dig sites.  We should be able to dig and televise tomorrow, March 13, and maybe find out what issues we’re up against with this all-tile system.  Major repairs or improvements are expected with this aging system.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  I’m trying to keep an eye on when the ditches start to open up, and actually some have already.  We are looking at major repairs or improvements for this system.  Both the open ditch and tile have their own sets of issues. 
  • CD93 (Decoria Twp.)  We started an open ditch cleaning project last year, but things froze up quicker than we could get them done.  I expect the contractor should be able to finish this clean out work relatively soon as things should start to melt and open up yet this week.
  • CD86 (Decoria Twp.)  We’ve had on-going issues with beavers on this open ditch system.  Going into last winter we still had issues with beavers and now that the ditch is starting to open up, I’m keeping a watchful eye out for more signs of beaver activity.
  • This will be a busy spring again, maybe not as intense as last spring, but we will have multiple repair projects and improvements going on at the same time again.

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