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May 20

Lake Killer

Posted on May 20, 2019 at 5:04 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 5/20/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • We have a joint drainage meeting with Faribault County this week to discuss the possibility of some repairs and improvements on a few shared drainage systems.

Project Updates

  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Despite the wet weather lately, crews are still doing what they can to get the new pipe installed.CD48 improvement map update    
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Things should be pretty much wrapped up until later in the year, when our contractor might add one additional tile connection on the northerly portion of this improvement project. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Our general contractor has been working through their punch list of items to finish up.  We need a stretch of dry and warm weather to keep the momentum going.  
  • JD51 Waseca (Danville Twp.)  Our contractor is pretty much finished with the open ditch cleaning; maybe a few spots will need additional cleaning.  The contractor is working on replacing tile outlets into the open ditch.  Seeding of the disturbed ditch areas should be coming in the next week or two.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Invasive Lake Killers:


Starry Stonewart, sometimes called the lake killer, is usually a death sentence for most recreational lakes.  Starry Stonewart is an invasive aquatic species of algae.  These Stonewart blooms can form very dense viney mats that can choke out native aquatics. 

One Minnesota lake community came together with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) to get an early jump on this invasive lake killer.  Grand Lake, near Rockville MN, caught their invasive Stonewart early enough to be able to contain it by hand pulling it to control it.  Researchers say that 13 Minnesota lakes have been exposed to the Starry Stonewart.  The likelihood of that number doubling could be very realistic with the large number of recreational boaters and fisher people that bounce from lake to lake.  On many of the other lakes, hand pulling is not feasible because of how large the Stonewart blooms have spread. 

The lake systems that have large blooms are somewhat controlled by using algaecides, chopping, by mechanical means and using copper herbicides.  None of the current methods have been overly successful.  The best way to stop the spread of invasives, whether it be aquatic plants or aquatic animal species, is to clean and empty all water out of your boat before and after usage.  Five or ten minutes of preventative measures could save decades of costly maintenance for your local lakes.  Let's all do our part to keep an eye out for invasive species while out on our local lakes.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of May 13 – May 17:

  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Inspected an area of a new sink hole.  County highway department folks are trying to get new pipe installed underneath Blue Earth County Road 32.  CD50 drainage system crosses under this county road and caused a large sink hole in the road earlier in the year.  
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Continued issues with sloughing and sink holes.
  • JD28 (Decoria Twp.)  We have had an ongoing issue with an area of tile that continues to have issues with blow outs.  Pictured below is our blow out.jd28 blowout 3
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  More sink hole issues; tile replacement is needed.
  • JD48 Brown (Butternut Valley Twp.)  We have an issue with ponding water on both sides of our County Road 11.  A contractor has been notified to investigate for a possible tile blockage downstream.
  • JD36 (Butternut Valley Twp.)  Sloughs and sink holes seem to a very common theme with this drainage system.  
  • JD32 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  Slight issue with erosion with one of our new ASI structures installed last year.  Bigger rip rap rock and some additional seeding should fix things up.

Special note: no blog next Monday, as it is Memorial Day.  Enjoy the upcoming holiday! The DrainageBlog will be back Monday, June 3. 

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