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Apr 30

Drainage Update 4/30/2018

Posted on April 30, 2018 at 5:52 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 4/30/2018



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  We will be meeting with the City Council from the City of Lake Crystal next Monday, May 7, to discuss a possible city takeover of ditch jurisdiction for the portion of open ditch that flows through town. 



Project Updates:


  • Ditch cleanings and tree trimming have started this last week, with some work even over the weekend. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.) This improvement project actually started back up for the year.  Today is their first official day back.  Hopefully the weather will work in our favor and the contractor can get the rest of the pipe to the east of CSAH 27 installed quickly.


Buffer Updates:

As I spoke of last week, the proposed alternative to the current Administrative Penalty Order plan for the 103F riparian buffer law was eliminated and removed from any further consideration. 

Looking forward to positive buffer-related items, there are some things that are moving in the background through our state legislature. Additional buffer cost share dollars have been added to an existing Clean Water Fund supplemental bill that is proposed in the house.  There is also some guidance coming from the Drainage Work Group that is being considered by the legislature to help expedite the buffer acquisitions by Drainage Authorities.  There could also be special tax credits coming for those individuals who took production land (farmland) out to install the required buffers or alternative practices.    

This week is part of the 63rd Annual Soil and Water Stewardship Week.  This is a week of national recognition promoting clean water projects and highlighting stewardship from SWCDs as well as private citizens.  This year’s theme in Minnesota is “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home”.  Governor Dayton has made it very clear that our state's major resource, water, will remain one of his top priorities.  For more reading on this and other related topics click the link.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of April 23 – April 27:

·         CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  I was out looking at some slough issues near a lift station that pumps into the open ditch portion of this system.  I also noticed some areas that landowners are digging up our buffer area around this open ditch.  These violations are part of 103E drainage law.  A formal violation letter will be sent to this landowner with specifics on how and what timeframe to make such repairs to the buffer area.  Two pictures below show the area of violation.  
    buffer violation 1buffer violation 2

·         CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Met with the same contractor from the prior week only cd35 sloughs1to find more slough issues. We currently have 25 different slough areas along a 2.5 – 3 mile stretch of open ditch.  Some major repairs with heavy costs may be coming very soon.  Pictured to left is one of the many sloughs.

·         CD39 (Judson Twp.)  I met with a landowner to look at a major sinkhole that has formed from a possible collapsed tile.  Further investigation and repair will be needed to determine source of issue.  Sink hole pictured below is about 7 feet deep by 30 feet wide.cd39 sink hole1

·         CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  Monitoring water levels to pick a good time for our contractor to hopefully get back to finishing this repair project.

·         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 the fields.  These areas of ponding water still might have some deep frost preventing the surface water from draining quickly. 

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