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Nov 06

Giving Back Locally

Posted on November 6, 2018 at 4:39 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 11/5/2018

Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings

  • CD78, we are setting a date for the final acceptance hearing for this improvement project.  The meeting is Tuesday, November 13, on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse in Mankato.
  • CD28, we will be awarding the public bid for a repair petition project in Lincoln Township.  The meeting is Tuesday, November 13, on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse in Mankato.
  • Single and Multi-year levies will be discussed for 2019.  The Commissioners will consider them Tuesday, November 13, on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse in Mankato.


Project Updates:


  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Our decent weather of last week come and gone.  Progress has grinded to a halt for the moment.  If the weather could dry up, I would guess we have another 12-15 days of work to finish this improvement project.  See map for areas of completed new tile install and areas left to do yet.
jd09 imp map UPDATE
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)   Boring crews have started with boring under MN Highway 68.  The contractor for this improvement started late last week with installing new tile crossings under County Road 102 in Cambria and Butternut Valley Townships.    
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  The open ditch cleaning is complete, and now we wait for it to dry up a before finishing grading our new low-flow crossing.  Once the final touches of grading are done, we will quickly get seeding out on areas we disturbed.  So far, I am very pleased with the results of our experimental low-flow crossing.  It may become a practice we use on other ditches with similar sloughing issues.
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Now that all of the crops have been harvested, we can have the contractor return to finish the checklist of items.  Items include re-leveling in the new construction area, general clean-up, and fixing up some intakes.
  • CD34 (Judson Twp.)  Now that crops have been harvested for the most part in this watershed area, we can have the contractor return to finalize their checklist items.  We have a few areas that we need to replace some sections of pipe that deflected, also we will be filling our old county tile system pipe that goes under CSAH 114, just north of Crysteel Manufacturing.  We will be doing a little bit of grading work and adding a new intake along CSAH 114 also.  Work should be completed (hopefully) two weeks from today.

Get Involved Locally:

I was very fortunate to be asked to be part of a CWP (Crystal Water Project) meeting last week.  This was my first time attending such a meeting.  One of the major topics of this meeting was to learn more about local Lake Associations.  There were representatives from the Madison Lake Association and also the Lake Washington Association.  Representatives from both organizations spoke about how their groups got started, how they operate, and why. 

This was especially interesting for me because I had always wondered how these groups work and, better yet, what it really is that they do.  Much of their work goes unnoticed by many of us, especially if you’re not familiar with these Associations.  Both of these groups have members that pay fees every year.  These groups are very active locally at their own lakes.  The Madison Lake Association is even more unique because it also has the backing for water quality from the city.  Lake Washington Association is made up primarily of individuals that live on or near Lake Washington. 

Both of these groups survive due to the continuing support of their members.  These members pay their dues every year, and also many volunteer their time or services to help with water quality projects or monitoring.  Both groups are always looking for ways to improve water quality for their lake body. Some of the projects that the two groups have been involved in include; building rain garden areas, water testing and monitoring, weed and invasive species control, water control structures, and many more behind the scenes projects that are all for the betterment of their lakes.  Most of these lake associations across the state do water quality testing and report those results to the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) for tracking of data. 

I was very impressed with how much they do for their communities with their limited budgets.  For more information on water quality, check out the MPCA site and look up your lake or body of water of concern.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 29 – November 2:

  • JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  Things were moving right along with this improvement until the rains started, again.  The southerly portion of this improvement has all of the new tile installed.  There are a few very minor checklist items to do for the southerly portion, but otherwise done.  The northerly portion saw one contractor leaving for a different project (Blue Earth County CD48) and the southerly improvement contractor will take over and complete the rest of the northerly tile improvement for this project.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Beaver dam was removed and the water level has dropped multiple feet in the upstream portion of this open ditch.  We had a contractor try to clean areas along the open ditch that had sloughed in, but some of those sloughs have fallen in again, due in part to the weather we are having lately.  The contractor will re-clean a few areas, do some re-grading along the top of our new pipe and finish by seeding our new pipe area.  We will be using a mix hearty enough to survive winter and will hopefully germinate next spring.    
  • CD56 (Garden City & Lincoln Twps) I, along with an inspector from ISG, did a drive through of checklist items to try to finalize our repair project from 2017.  We did find some items that still need attention, but for the most part things are looking good.
  • CD86 (Beauford and Decoria Twp.)  Final touches are being added to our water quality intake project for this open ditch system.  We had added nine new water quality intakes in the last few months.  We had been given a grant from BWSR (Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources) to do these types of projects.  We are trying to get the seeding done on these areas that we disturbed during construction and installation. 


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