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May 07

Kudos to Crystal Lake

Posted on May 7, 2018 at 8:42 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 5/7/2018



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

·         We have a city council meeting in Lake Crystal to discuss CD56 tonight (Monday, May 7).  This is for the portion of CD56 that actually goes through the city of Lake Crystal and then empties into Crystal Lake.


Project Updates:


  • We currently have six different contractors doing work all over the county on different drainage systems. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.) This improvement project has one full week under its belt for the 2018 season.  The original contractor has hired a sub-contractor to help speed up the remaining tile that is to be installed on this project.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  This improvement project is set to start in just a few short weeks, with a planned June 1, 2018, start date.  Construction easement areas have been staked, so growers should know where to plant and where to stay out.


Kudos to Crystal Lake:

I recently came across an interesting article from BWSR (Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources) that highlighted all the hard work put into making water quality improvements to Crystal Lake in the City of Lake Crystal. 

The article goes on to talk about how much has been improved upon in the last ten years for water quality for this lake.  Multiple groups have worked hard to wrap the community around the belief of restoring the water quality to what it once was.  Crystal Waters Project has been a huge advocate for promoting water quality for Crystal Lake.  They host many community-based fundraising events every year to raise money for awareness of the issues to their community lake.  The group also sponsors many water quality projects.

Crystal Waters Project isn’t the only one that has made these changes possible in the last ten years; our local Soil and Water Conservation District has also played a large role.  Our local SWCD team has helped with educating both farmers and city residents about the importance both play in keeping the water clean.  Local SWCD staff have been working hard at getting growers to try cover crops, strip-till farming practices, and other water quality practices.

We, in the public drainage sector of things, have also recently contributed to the water quality of this lake.  Last year we had the entire ditch system cleaned out and buffer areas installed.  Besides the grass buffer areas being installed, we also incorporated Alternative Side Intakes or ASI’s.  These ASI’s help to slow the flow of water entering the open ditch and letting some of the sediment and debris filter out.  We also did go through the town portion of Lake Crystal along the open ditch and had trees and brush removed.  We had perennial buffer vegetation planted along the ditches in town.  We still have some minor things to finish up as far as the ditch system going through town, but by and large many residents are on-board for water quality.

I thought it was a great little article and a feather in everyone’s hat who has worked hard to restore Crystal Lake back to its glory days.  Keep up the good work everyone.  For more reading on this article please Click.




Recent Drainage Inspections – week of April 30 – May 4:

·         JD09 (Sterling Twp.)  Inspected an issue with water actually bubbling out of a drop intake.  Usually this is a sign of a pretty severe blockage in the tile.  The bad thing is the tile that is blocked goes under a township road.

·         CD76 (McPherson Twp.)  Some on-going issues with ponding water in fields.  The main issues are undersized pipe and reduced capacity of pipe. 

·         JTD01 FAR (Sterling Twp.)  I have been watching the water levels of Lura Lake and our county outlet.  We are having issues with a section of tile on the county line. 

·         JD32 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  I had a contractor out doing some ditch cleaning on the open ditch portion of this system.  When out there in field, we discovered multiple issues of ditch bank erosion.

·         JD14 (Judson Twp.)  We have been waiting for the standing water to disappear so we can go in and make three simple tile repairs.  This is an old, out-of-shape system that has on-going issues with peat ground and very shallow concrete tile.

·         CD50 & CD27 (Judson & Butternut Valley Twps.)  We have had a tree contractor working in this area grinding and removing dead trees and brush along the open ditch areas.

·         CD56 (Lincoln & Garden City Twps.)  We have had quite a few issues lately with collapsed tile issues.  Picture shows a recent sink hole.cd56 sink hole

·         CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  More issues with sloughing on the open ditch.

        ·         JD07 (Lincoln Twp.)  We had received a report of an issue with county tile not draining properly.  This is an old system that is at a very flat grade.  An improvement would greatly improve drainage issues out in this area.

        ·         We have had a huge volume of calls lately about collapsed tile issues or open ditch issues.  We are trying to handle all calls or reports as quickly as we can.  Please remember that we need to do some research once you call.  We need to verify that the issue is in fact over a county tile line before issuing the repair be made.  It may take us a few days to get out to the site to visit in-field before ordering a repair be made. 

A friendly reminder as many people are busy trying to get crops in: if there is an issue with a county tile and we are not notified about it before the repairs are made, we reserve the right to deny payment.   

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