View All Posts

May 21

Drainage Update 5/21/2018

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 4:53 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 5/21/2018



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

·         No upcoming meeting or hearings are scheduled at this time.


Project Updates:


  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.) Construction crews have been making the best of the weather pushing hard to get the remaining new tile installed east of County Road 27, just north and east of the city of Eagle Lake.  Barring any weather issues, crews should be ahead of schedule.    
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  This improvement project is set to start in just a couple weeks, with a June 1, 2018 start date.  Construction easement areas have been staked, so growers should know where to plant and where to stay out of.


Drainage Minutes:

Things have been really crazy busy last couple weeks.  With the unusually late spring and then “BOOM” into spring, repairs and ditch system issues came in at a high rate.  We have had as many as seven different contractors working at the same time across the county to make repairs to tile, open ditch bank sloughing, and address all sorts of issues.

I’m not sure why this spring is one of the worst for tile and open ditch issues.  Was it the quick freeze of last fall?  Or the very cold winter that put frost very deep in the ground?  Or the spring that took forever to come, but when it did, sprung on like a light switch.  It’s very possible that it’s the combination of all the above.

We have growers trying to finish their spring planting of corn and soybeans.  The weather has put planting season a good month behind normal.  The weather has also delayed our window to make repairs.  I’m using many different contractors to try to keep up with repairs that are being reported.  The problem is that many of these contractors also have other private tile jobs or just other projects that they have commitments to.  We are addressing our list of repairs as quickly and efficiently as we can. 

To those farmers out there, please be sure to call and report any county system issues before just ordering them to be repaired.  If we are not notified of the repair and given time to make an in-field inspection, we reserve the right to refuse to pay for such repair.  Again, we thank everyone for their patience as we are scrambling as many contractors in all directions to get all these repairs made as quickly as possible.

On a side note, please be mindful it is full-on wood tick season.  I was fortunate to have three of them on me last week already.  Just thought I’d remind those outdoorsy folks and also pet owners.  I know a few people personally that have been exposed to Lyme Disease.   Remember to treat yourselves with protective spray and also treat your pets to protect them as well.  Two common types of ticks found in Minnesota and are shown below; left is a deer tick and the right is a common wood tick.tick



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of May 14 – May 18:

·         JD29 (Judson Twp.)  I was called out by a contractor to inspect some issues with standing and ponding water on a field.  Turns out this field is an old marsh area and pretty much all peat ground.  The peat ground has shrunk down by almost four feet from when the original concrete tile was installed.  This can be very challenging for trying to make repairs and connecting on to existing tile.  An improvement is very much needed for the long-term benefit of this system.

·         JD32 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  We had a contractor doing some ditch cleaning and eventually will be installing three new WASCOB’s.  Check out the photo of how clear and clean looking the water is. jd32

·         CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Called out to inspect yet another sink hole along a small area of CRP.  Sink holes are a very common theme this year.

·         CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  We had a contractor make a repair to our low-flow crossing along a section of the open ditch.  A very small sink hole area was starting to form. After some new fabric and gravel, things are looking like new again.

·         CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Our contractor started last week moving in large quantities of large rip rap rock.  This rock, along with reshaping the ditch bank, will hopefully fix some of our sloughing issues along a couple stretches of this open ditch portion.  We are still having issues with the heavy ditch banks sliding out into the open ditch.  Now the township road is starting to sink and shift in a small area along the open ditch.  Some very expensive repairs will have to be made on top of the ones already going on.

·         JD09 (Sterling Twp.)  We have a contractor hired to make tile repairs to a blockage to a county tile that crosses under a township road.  A small portion of the road and tile were opened up last week to help drain the water in the tile better and relieve some pressure from the tile so repairs can be made.

·         County Poor Farm (Rapidan Twp.)  This is not part of a county public drainage system formally.  Blue Earth County does own some acreage that is tillable just south of Mankato that has some tile issues on the farm ground.  We have a contractor that is making some much needed repairs to portions of an old clay tile system.  Pictured below is on area of tile failure.
poor farm 2

·         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 do not guarantee same day service.  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