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Aug 27

Drainage Update 8/27/2018

Posted on August 27, 2018 at 5:43 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 8/27/2018


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • CD56 (Lincoln Twp.)  We received a winning bid for a major repair that will result in two tile branches being replaced.  The official awarding will be part of the September 11 Board of Commissioners meeting.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  We will be having a landowner informational meeting this week to discuss possibilities of an improvement for this drainage system.  Those who are affected by this should have received notice in the mail.  

Project Updates:


  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  This two-part improvement project is going strong.  We should be seeing a new pond going in this week, along with sub lateral one.  We hope to see two contractors working together - possibly later this week.  The southerly portion of this improvement could possibly be done in the next few weeks.  The northerly portion could be a bit trickier, especially to the far north end of the project, due to two different wetland areas to work around.  We have had very good weather for working lately, and hopefully it will stay this way for a while.  Blue lines indicate new tile installed.JD09 updated improvement map
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)   This improvement project is still set to start later this year.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  This will be a fairly good-sized repair involving large 60-inch pipe being installed to help stabilize sloughing issues.  This project should start very soon as the deadline is before harvest.
  • CD56 (Lincoln Twp.)  The repair and cleaning project of 2017 is ending soon.  The contractor is back on-site to put final touches on things.  The contractor should be able to get this done fairly quickly, hopefully this week.  Shortly after the finalizing of this repair, we can put together some final costs.

Drainage Minutes:

Last week was a busy week and they will only get busier.  We are trying to push to get all our projects and repairs finished yet this year.  Currently we have two improvement projects and two major repairs, all to finish yet this year.

Last week kept me busy with some additional repairs that are still coming in.  The majority of them are sink-hole issues on portions of county tile lines.  As some growers have been out lately spraying their soybeans for bugs, there has been an increase on the number of repair calls.  This is good on my end as I can plan ahead and get work lined up for contractors to get done as soon as harvest is finished on that piece of land.

We are considering changing how we go about spraying our open ditches.  I met with a local contractor last week to brainstorm some ideas to try to help our growing concerns with out-of-control weeds.  We have been trying out some areas this year of mowing first and then coming back to spray herbicide to control the remaining weeds.  I think this will help considerably in the fight to control weeds in the buffer and ditch bank areas. 

As most of us know by now, Wild Cucumber is a new weed that is rapidly taking over almost everywhere you look.  This is an invasive species that made its way across Minnesota in a hurry.  The good news is that it is not resistant to our current herbicide treatments and we can kill it. 

I still plan on doing the three spray zones of the county, but we'll just add mowing as part of the plan along with the herbicide program.  The mowing in the long-run should actually save us money with potentially less spraying for trees/shrubs and weeds.  Like I’ve said before, drainage is a constant and evolving challenge, there are many aspects to it and I enjoy the challenge of all of it.

We had the opportunity last week to check out a neighboring couny's improvement project involving plowing in HDPE dual wall pipe and one really cool machine.  They said that when everything is up and running well, they can plow in almost 1,300 linear feet a day of up to 24-inch dual wall pipe.  The traditional way before was to open trench dig in tile like this. 

There are some limitations to using a tile plow for dual wall pipe which include depth and size of pipe.  There are some applications that I could see us possible considering using this install method for some our projects.  The interesting part about the machine is that it can lay ten-foot sticks of dual wall pipe, push them together and bed the pipe in sand with compaction.  This machine is pretty amazing for what it does and weights around 50 tons. 

The main attraction for the contractors that use this type of technology is the added safety and precision.  There’s no open trench for a guy to be walking around in and the accuracy of the pipe being laid is within centimeters.  The cost to use this machine isn’t cheap or even necessarily cheaper than digging open trench, but the safety and accuracy seem to offset this for contractors wanting to use it.  Check out the pictures of this machine.  Standing next to it makes a person feel very small.
tile plow 2

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of August 20 – August 24:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Monitoring our on-going issue with sloughing and the township road.
  • CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  Additional beaver dams have been removed as of last week, further monitoring will be required as I’m sure the beavers are still living nearby.   Our clean water ASI project is still going on with the open ditch portion of this system.  We have installed two of the possible nine ASI’s.  Work for this clean water project should finish up shortly after fall harvest this year.
  • JD48 (Butternut Valley Twp.)  We have both mowed and sprayed for weeds on a portion of this system and will have to monitor for results.  If this two-part plan seems to work, I’d like to use it on all open ditch systems going forward.
  • CD05 (Danville Twp.)  We had a local contractor do some quick ditch cleaning of sediment that was blocking some flow near a crossing.
  • CD56 (Garden City & Lincoln Twps) Trying to put the final touches on this repair and cleaning project from last year.  We have multiple contractors doing some final checklist items including; mowing, spraying weeds, additional cleaning of ditch and a few other things.
  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Additional issues of sink holes in the same areas that we’ve had multiple issues with in the past.  Some more extensive investigation will be needed to see just how bad this tile portion of the system is getting in some areas.


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