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Apr 24

BWSR Updates

Posted on April 24, 2018 at 4:29 AM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 4/23/2018



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


No upcoming meetings or hearings scheduled as of this time.

Project Updates:


  • More repairs and ditch cleanings should start this week as the snow is finally melting and things hopefully dry up.  I would assume that we will see projects start up mid-May granted that things stay relatively dry for a while.


Buffer Updates:BWSRlogo-trans

I spoke a while back about the possibility of a linear footage APO (Administrative Penalty Order), or penalty per linear foot, for riparian buffer violations.  BWSR (Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources) held a public comment period to let Minnesotans voice their opinions on this matter.  Well Minnesota, your voices have been heard loud and clear. 

As of Thursday, April 12, BWSR and the governing board rejected this APO proposal.  This proposal was to give local government entities an alternative for enforcing local riparian buffer compliance.   This alternative option was rejected, and no further action on this proposal will be taken by BWSR on this proposal.

BWSR made the statement that the current APO or penalties are sufficient, and at this time no further proposals are warranted.  Some interesting things to note about a violation to a riparian buffer:

1.    Once non-compliance (violation) is determined and presented to landowner, the landowner has an eleven-month grace period to address the violation.

2.    After the eleven-month window, the violation needs to be re-inspected.

3.    The governing authority who enforces the APO has the choice to either impose a fine after the eleven months, if violation repairs are not made, or forgive all fines if the proper repairs are met and the riparian buffer is brought back into compliance.

4.    Renters can be held accountable for riparian buffer violations.

In the letter written ending the BWSR proposal, by Mr. John Jaschke (Executive Director for BWSR), to all Minnesotans and especially Minnesota farmers, he explains this proposal was written hastily and did not go through the normal or proper channels before being proposed.  Mr. Jaschke explains that the board and BWSR did not address potential concerns or the large scale impacts it could have on Minnesota farmers and landowners.  The letter also noted that BWSR’s proposal was unknown and unannounced to our current Minnesota Governor.


We (Craig and myself) were fortunate enough to be able to attend a buffer update meeting last Thursday, April 19.  This meeting was for governing bodies that accepted jurisdiction for enforcement of the APO or penalties for the riparian buffer.  This meeting was attended by BWSR staff who answered lots of questions from the various SWCDs and counties in attendance.  


For more reading and buffer updates, check out BWSR’s website by clicking the link.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of April 16 – April 20:

·         JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  Landowner was experiencing some possible issues with a county intake near our newly constructed mainline.

·         CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Met with a contractor to discuss repairing a large slough area that is drastically reducing the flow capacity of the open ditch.

·         JTD01 FAR (Sterling Twp.)  Monitoring ongoing issues with Lura Lake outlet and water levels.  Our county tile, that acts as a secondary outlet to the lake, is in need of serious repair.  Picture shows one of the lake outlets.jtd01 dnr outlet

·         Just a special note, we have received multiple calls about ponding water.  Please remember that these recent thaw and freeze cycles are not helping to drain the water ponding in our fields.  These areas of ponding water still might have some deep frost preventing the surface water from draining quickly.  We’ve had a few larger snowfalls lately that we’re not used to having this late in the year.  Please be patient the land thaws back out for the year.


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