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Apr 29

Drainage Update 4/29/2019

Posted on April 29, 2019 at 9:34 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 4/29/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • No upcoming meetings or hearings.

Project Updates:


  • CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  Crews should be finishing up with final cleanup for repairs on a portion of tile on this system. 
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Crews have started installing new HDPE tile again.  There is still a lot of tile to install before planting season, but crews are working as quickly and efficiently as they can as they try to beat the planting clock. CD48 improvement map update
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  We shouldn’t see too much cleanup work from the contractor on this project.  Crews will be working on a few tile items in the southern portion of this drainage system.  Seeding is still needed on portions of the open ditch as well as along the top perimeter of the new sediment pond.
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  No contractor was on-site as of last week.  I did meet with one renter to go through some issues that will be added to the final punch list for the contractor of this project.   

Pipeline Spill, Lyon County:

There was a large diesel pipeline spill in Lyon County last week.  A diesel pipeline leaked more than 200 barrels worth of fuel (or over 8,000 gallons). Some of the leaked fuel did make its way to a drainage ditch that was in near proximity.

Multiple state and private agencies assembled on-site, near Cottonwood, Minnesota.  The pipeline, fortunately, was not actively pumping fuel through this particular line, otherwise the spill could have been considerably worse. Investigators with the pipeline’s owners discovered a small hole that penetrated into the pipeline, resulting in the fuel spill. 

The hole in the pipeline was from a person who reportedly was shooting near the pipeline, where one of his shots ricocheted off some water and may have accidentally struck the pipeline.  The individual, who is not publicly named, supposedly shot four more times in the same general direction of the pipeline.

The 8-inch diameter pipeline was repaired within hours.  The real work comes with the cleanup efforts that could have costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The individual involved in the shooting of the pipeline could possibly see criminal charges as well as possibly be responsible for restitution charges.

This maybe isn’t my typical clean-water type column piece, but it's still important to consider what ill effects this spill may have on the local environment and on future pipeline projects. Just a few quick moments can so quickly change and damage an environment.  Things sound very unintentional, according to the reports, but the effects may be seen or felt for decades after.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of April 22 – April 26:

  • JD51 (Danville Twp.)  We have a contractor making repairs and cleaning this open ditch system.  All parts of the Blue Earth County side of the ditch are cleaned.  This is a shared system with Waseca County.  Some tile outlets need repair and seeding needs to be finished yet on the Blue Earth County side.  The contractor is doing a very nice job of cleaning and reshaping slopes.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  I met with a couple concerned landowners about possible repair options for this drainage system.  Portions of the open ditch on this system are in rough shape.
  • CD65 (Judson Twp.)  Areas of multiple sink holes, combined with high water levels from the river near the outlet of this system, are making for a bad combination.
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  More areas of sink holes.  This is over a large 42-inch tile area.
  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  I had a report from our Blue Earth County Highway Department about a large sink-hole that formed over our County Ditch 50.  The sink-hole has a portion of County Road 32 still closed as of today.  The sink-hole was very large and dangerous in the one lane of traffic.  Highway department crews are installing new HD storm grade pipe.cd50 sink hole
  • CD77 (McPherson Twp.)  Issues with a collapsed portion of old 14-inch concrete tile.  Contractor on-site will make necessary repairs and have this system up and running in no time.  
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  More issues with sink-holes.  This is going to be a reoccurring theme for tile systems this 2019 spring season.

We are seeing a fairly large number of tile repairs coming in this time of year.  The unfortunate thing is we are still trying to work through our repair list from last year, 2018.  Please report issues you see on our public drainage systems, whether it’s a tile system or an open ditch system.  The repairs are usually fixed in the order they are received, so please don’t wait to let us know about issues you observe on public drainage systems, as the list grows daily.

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