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Jul 09

Drainage Update 7/2/2018

Posted on July 9, 2018 at 9:42 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/2/2018


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • JD43 Improvement project acceptance hearing will be July 10, 2018.  The acceptance hearing will be part of the July 10 Board of Commissioner's meeting, located on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse in Mankato.  Landowners affected by this hearing will be receiving notice by mailing shortly. 

Project Updates:


  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Crews started installing new tile again on Tuesday afternoon, June 26.  The crews have been pushing hard and working extra hours trying to get the remaining portions of new tile installed.  As of last Friday, the crew still had about a week's worth of tile to install, assuming no new issues with weather.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Ground Works is the contractor on the southerly portion of this two-part improvement project.  They also started back up on Tuesday of last week.  Both of these projects were shut down for around a week due to heavy rainfalls.  Below is an example of a water quality side intake we installed as part of the JD09 improvement projects.jd09

Drainage Minutes:

Fairly quiet week last week, comparatively speaking, from recent weeks.  Water levels are still very high in most parts of the county.  We do have some damage to a few tile and open ditch systems.  Until water levels come back down, we may not find any additional issues.

Our two current improvement projects are going fairly well, despite the recent setbacks with the weather.  Both JD34 and JD09, located in the northeasterly part of the county, are back up and running.  The two projects had been temporarily shut down due to very wet conditions.  Both contractors are putting in some extra hours to make up for lost time.  JD34 hopefully is completed in the next week or two, minus some minor cleanup work.

I was able to attend a drainage workshop last week.  This was a workshop for both landowners and industry professionals, with very good topics of discussions and great speakers.  Two of the key sessions I personally found most educational included industry views on agricultural drainage and a panel discussion with industry professionals and farmers. 

One common theme I took away from listening during the day is that the agricultural industry and drainage industry as a whole are doing a great job of improving water quality on all aspects.  The agricultural industry often gets a finger pointed at them for things but are less frequently recognized for the good and positive projects.  The agricultural industry is doing great things for water quality, as are other industries, but in the past, no one is announcing these good deeds to the general public.  It was interesting to learn how the agricultural world is educating the general public about these good deeds and accomplishments towards water quality.  All of the sessions and break-out groups were great.  I look forward to next year's workshop.

As a lot of us are out enjoying the great outdoors this summer, please be mindful of some very toxic weed species that are becoming more and more common in our southern Minnesota areas.  Poison ivy and oak, poison sumac, wild parsnip and hogweed are just a short list of plants that can result in very traumatic injuries to the skin and eyes if exposed.  If the wood ticks and swarms of mosquitoes aren’t enough, please educate yourselves and your kids to stay far away from these plants.  Severe blisters, burns, scarring and possible blindness can occur from some of these species.  Wild parsnip is in almost any roadside ditch you drive by in southern Minnesota.  Pretty yellow flowers are very misleading for the skin tissue damage it can cause.  Have fun out there in our beautiful state this summer, just be a little mindful of your surroundings.


From left to right; Wild Parsnip, Cow Parsnip and Hogweed.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of June 25 – June 29:

  • JD02 LeS (Jamestown Twp.)  Heavy rainfalls have caused two areas of minor sloughing along the open ditch.
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Crews were working hard to make up for lost time due to the rains.  If all goes well crews should be done with new pipe install in the next week or so.  There is still plenty of clean up work and punch list things to finish also.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Monitoring high water levels and our fresh repairs.  Our new areas of riprap are holding nicely.  We have issues with the township road running alongside the open ditch.  More expensive repairs will be needed to keep the road from sloughing more. 
  • JD43 (Rapidan Twp.)  Issues of drainage on an old branch to part of this tile system.

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