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Oct 08

Drainage Update 10/8/2018

Posted on October 8, 2018 at 5:45 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 10/8/2018


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • We have a few joint county meetings coming up involving both Faribault County and Waseca County.  Joint county meetings are needed when we are preparing to do work on drainage systems that cross into adjoining counties.

Project Updates:


  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  The wet and muddy conditions added an extra amount of difficulty to the northern and southern improvements.  The southern portion of this improvement has just the northerly section of branch number one left for new tile install. 
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)   Still hoping to get this project going yet this year.  Wet weather is not helping to get other projects done, either.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  New pipe is installed and some final grading work needs to be done yet.  Once the grading work is completed, we will do some extensive seeding to get a really good stand of grass going as quickly as possible.  It will be interesting to find out how this structure will preform under pressure of a large rainfall event.

Drainage Minutes:

Things are fairly quiet in the drainage world.  A few weeks back, I spoke about trying to incorporate or use some smaller sized iron / sand filters along CD56, near Lake Crystal.  We did hold a meeting a couple weeks ago and things seem to be moving along with this plan.  We (Drainage Authority) are working with our local SWCD and private landowners to try and plan 8 – 10 areas where we could possibly place these small filters to filter out phosphorus.  Our meeting involved an engineering firm, representatives from Crystal Waters Project, and Blue Earth County SWCD.  It was very productive to get all these groups together at one meeting.  The outcome was very positive and a plan of attack is in place.

Since our meeting, I did speak with one landowner that we are planning on doing a larger scale repair for yet this year, and we discussed the possibility of adding one of these phosphorus filters to the project. 

Harvest season has slowly started and the weather is less than cooperative in the last couple weeks.  Just as many growers are having issues getting crops harvested, our contractors are struggling to keep projects moving forward with the wet weather.  As the crops are starting to come off the fields, we are having more repairs reported, naturally.

Please let our drainage staff know about issues on a county system that need repair as soon as possible, as our list gets full very quickly this time of year. 



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 1 – October 5:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  We had a contractor make a quick repair to an intake along State Highway 22, just south of Mapleton.  Things got fixed up just in the nick-of-time as the rains started to come down.
  • JD01 FAR (Sterling Twp.)  I’ve been monitoring changing water levels around Lura Lake.  We are trying to decide how to handle one of our county systems that actually assists in the drainage of Lura Lake, along with a DNR structure.  The small nature of this watershed and the large cost to maintain are some of the major issues at hand.    
  • CD41 (Vernon Center Twp.)  The wet weather prevented any cleaning activity from starting last week.  We still plan on cleaning this small section of open ditch yet this year.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  We have two issues with side bank blow-outs along portions of our open ditch.  Yes, much of this system just got an overhaul last year, but the rains from early summer did a number on the open ditch.  It can be difficult to make good repairs with less than perfect soil conditions.  We will find a contractor to make repairs as soon as we can. 
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Our new over-flow crossing is installed and running water.  The contractor still has some final grading and ditch cleaning to finish, but it is functioning.  We will be paying close attention to this structure as it is something very new for Blue Earth County.  We have a neighboring county that has tried a similar idea and has had great success with it.  We did have a brief discussion on-site last week with some landowners that had questions about this newer design and structure in the open ditch.
  • CD56 (Garden City & Lincoln Twp) We should be done with the final touches to the major repair project from last year.  The contractor notified me last week that he has completed his checklist work.  We will make one final inspection, but it’s good to have this one done.
  • JD51 (Danville Twp.)  We are planning a joint county ditch cleaning project yet this year.  Most of this system is actually in Waseca County, but still a good portion is on the Blue Earth County side.  There are almost nine miles of open ditch cleaning between the two counties.


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