View All Posts

Jul 01

Happy Fourth of July!

Posted on July 1, 2019 at 4:33 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/01/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • No upcoming major hearings or meetings.                                                                                                                 

Project Updates:


  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  New tile is all installed and new rock check-dam installed.  Final checklist items and televising to come later this year, after harvest.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Nothing to report for this week. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Additional televising needs to be done.  Most checklist items have been addressed, with a few still remaining. 
  • JD51 Waseca (Danville Twp.)  We had the general contractor installing a small area of “toe-drain”.  This is a perforated tile purposely installed to drain subsurface water that is causing structural issues with our public ditch bank.  Hydro-seeding is done and most of it is sprouting already.  We will have some additional seeding of the actual buffer areas that may have been damaged from the cleaning project.  The buffer areas will be worked smooth and seeded using a Brillion drill seeder, which leaves a very nice smooth finished planting area.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Drainage Minutes:

There is not a lot happening in the water quality media world at the moment.  As many of our major projects are drawing to a close, we still have a healthy pile of repairs to work through as soon as we can.  This fall should be very busy with work.  We have seen a substantial increase from landowners looking to make larger repairs instead of small, more temporary, repairs.  With some worn-out systems that are almost 100 years old, the last three years have been extremely tough on growing row crops in extremely tough and wet conditions.

We should have a few improvement projects move forward and maybe even be up for public bid yet this year.  Work for those improvements wouldn’t officially start until 2020. 

We plan on mowing and spraying for weeds yet this summer along some of our open ditch systems.  We will primarily be spraying and mowing the western and southern townships of Blue Earth County.  Our contractor will mow all the open ditches in these areas first.  Then, a few weeks after mowing the open ditches is complete, the contractor will spray for any weeds that are coming back after mowing them down.  We have tried this same process before on other individual ditch systems with great results, including better stands of grasses and better control of weeds. 

I finally made it out to the lake over the past weekend.  It feels strange to say it’s July already and it’s my first time to be out on the lake.  With the winter that didn’t seem to want to end and the cool spring, summer took a long time to show up.  The area lake I ventured out on was actually in fair condition as far as clarity and algae issues.  It’s hard to find a southern Minnesota lake that is perfectly clean and clear. 

With the Fourth of July coming this week, I imagine that the area lakes will definitely have more traffic than normal on them.  Get out there and enjoy our water resources while the weather is still good.  Be safe, smart, and courteous to your fellow boaters if venturing out on the water.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of June 24 – June 28:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Monitoring the deteriorating situation of sloughs and ditch banks sliding.  We did have a beaver dam removed that was holding back about two feet of water.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Pipe should start to be delivered this week.  Equipment started to show up last Friday.  As soon as weather is fit to work, crews plan on starting.  This week was supposed to be our start week, but looking at heavy rains in the forecast, we might want to hold off, especially in sandier soils.  
  • JD51 Was. (Danville Twp.)  Contractor was finishing up installing a new toe-drain along a small portion of open ditch sloughing.  It was discovered that an old tile and some sandier soils where causing on-going issues with a portion of our ditch.  Buffer reseeding should happen as soon as things dry up.  Buffer areas will be seeded with a drill and not hydroseeded.
  • JD48 Bro. (Butternut Valley Twp.)  Inspected an issue with a sink hole starting to form over a driveway crossing.  This is actually a pretty typical occurrence with concrete culverts.  Often over many years of water and freezing and thawing, the sections of concrete will sometimes move or separate just slightly.  Usually they will develop a slow sink hole by sucking sediment down into the segmented concrete.  It doesn’t usually mean the culvert has failed or needs replacing, but usually fixed with some geotextile fabric and sometimes concrete patching.
  • JD85 MAR (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  We had a contractor start work on installing our new water quality side intakes, or ASI's as we call them.  This project is part of clean water grant that we received.JD85 new asi 2

Hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful Fourth of July. 

Special note that the blog will be moving to a Tuesday posting in the near future.  So, same great blog just being posted one day later on Tuesdays. 

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