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Dec 03

Salty Situation

Posted on December 3, 2018 at 4:04 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 12/03/2018


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  We will be holding an informational landowner meeting.  Landowners that are affected by this will be receiving notices in the mail shortly.

Project Updates:


  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  With the southern portion of this improvement project completed, we have about two weeks left of work for the northern part to be completed.  I’m referring to the new tile to be installed, not necessarily all “punch-list” items.  As winter sets in, we will have to wait until next spring possibly to finish up on minor things.  Map shows area of tile yet to install.JD09 imp map update
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)   Despite the winter weather and difficult working conditions, our contractor on this improvement project is doing very well.  The contractor is still installing new tile south of MN Highway 68.  We will see how long we can continue with installation before it gets just too tough.  Hats off to the crew for their continued hardwork.  Map shows area of tile that has been installed.  cd48 imp. update map   
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Much of the final checklist work for this project will probably be completed next spring.  I do believe that most or all of the new pipe has been televised.   
  • CD34 (Judson Twp.)  Our final part to this improvement project was completed last week.  We had the contractor fill the old pipe crossing under the road with flowable concrete.  I was told that it took around 50 yards of concrete to fill under CSAH 114.  I believe that all other punchlist items have been completed and we will be scheduling the final acceptance hearing in the near future.
  • CD56 Branch 18 (Lincoln Twp.)  The crew finished boring under CSAH 13 last week and our new outlet pipe to the open ditch was installed.  Crews should be installing new HDPE tile heading south of CSAH 13 the rest of this week.  If weather works out and crews keep going, this project could be done in 15 - 20 days or less.

Smart Salting:

We Minnesotans know just how challenging getting around can be in the winter.  We rely on our snow plow crews to keep our roads clean and safe for travel.  Part of keeping our roads safe for travel in Minnesota includes the use of salt on our roads, parking lots, and sidewalks.  With the very large emphasis on water quality in our state, we need to consider the ill effects from using salt around our freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

One teaspoon of salt can permanently pollute five gallons of water.  We use hundreds of thousands of tons of salt across the state.  The salt we use for keeping the ice off our roads, parking lots, and sidewalks contains chloride.  Chloride is finding its way into almost all major waterways across the state.  The salty, chlorinated water is having noticeable affects on fish populations and other aquatic species.

Currently there are no environmentally safe or inexpensive alternatives to using salt.  There are however smart salting strategies to help reduce salt usage.  Thinly and properly spread salt has the same melting capacities as large, heavily spread amounts.  Twelve ounces of properly spread salt should melt around 1,000 square foot area.  Salt isn’t the only answer to ice.  Salt actually is non-effective below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  Manual or mechanical means of snow and ice removal is a better choice.  If there is the need to use salt, use it sparingly and spread as even as possible to reduce any future damage to our waterways and aquatic ecosystems.      

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of November 26 – November 30:

  • CD25 (Mankato Twp.)  We had a contractor doing some slough repair and general open ditch cleaning last week.  Some of these sloughs and cleaning is from our June storms.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  I meet with representatives from FEMA last week to do in-field damage inspections from the June storms.  We have two fairly large blows-outs along portions of our open ditch on this system.     
  • CD05 (Danville Twp.)  Repairs were made to a field crossing we installed that was having some issues with erosion.
  • JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  Stopped by on-site to visit the improvement project and view progress. 
  • CD57 (Mapleton Twp.)  We had a contractor remove multiple beaver dams that were holding back a fair amount of water.  We also did some tile investigation by televising. 
  • CD56 (Lincoln Twp.)  Multiple sink holes found and reported along older portions of tile.      

 boring cd56boring cd56 2
Photos above showing new pipe being bored under CSAH 13.

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