View All Posts

Jul 09

Summer Fun

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 9:24 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/08/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • No upcoming major hearings or meetings.                                                                                                

Project Updates:


  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Nothing new this week, clean-up items will take place this fall after harvest.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Nothing to report for this week. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Televising and some other check-list items are still scheduled to happen in the next few weeks.    
  • JD51 Waseca (Danville Twp.)  All major repairs should be complete at this point.  All of the large equipment should be gone and we can start replanting buffer areas that have been disturbed.  Very pleased with how well this cleaning has turned out.                                                                         

Stinky Situation:

As many of us southern Minnesota lake dwellers know, things can get a little green and stinky on some of our lakes during the warmer summer months.  The common reason for this is thick blooms of algae.  The algae quickly feast and multiple by a sudden influx of phosphorus in the water.  The water-soluble phosphorus is thought to be released from the muddy bottoms of our lakes.  The lakes will often contain nutrients and sediment that contain forms of insoluble phosphorus that will stick to their muddy bottoms until conditions are just right.

Unfortunately, conditions are just right for this phosphorus release about the same time as we want to be out on the water.  As temperatures rise during the summer months it will also raise the lakes water temperature.  Warmer temperatures bring on more weed growth, the combination of warmer water and additional weeds leads to a depletion of oxygen in the water that can sometimes turn anaerobic.  Usually when this happens, we will notice more dead fish and larger areas of algae growth, sometimes toxic algae spores.

Many lake groups and associations across the State of Minnesota are joining in the fight to clean up their area lakes.  To my knowledge, there is no “Silver Bullet", used to get a lake completely free of algae and crystal clear.  Many lake associations have tried large combinations of things to help clean up algae and water clarity issues on their individual lakes.  Locally we know of groups using floating islands with plants that act as natural filters for the lake.  Carp netting, bubble aeration systems and other shore land efforts are just a few things that are having great results locally.

I did come across an article that spoke of company that is using Aluminum Sulfate to treat algae blooms.  So, think back to high school chemistry class with positive and negative charged ions.  The aluminum sulfate acts as a blanket to the phosphorus on the bottom of the lakes.  The aluminum sulfate can be a very effective way of treating lakes with serious algae issues, but it can’t be resolved by a chemical treatment alone.  All in-coming waters to a lake also need to be treated or addressed for phosphorus and nutrient pilling.  Adding more grasses along shorelines, keeping storm sewer drains clean of leaves and fertilizer, and reducing sediment will also help reduce phosphorus.  The aluminum sulfate application is more of a band-aid than a permanent fix to the lake’s ecosystem. This application is not cheap, but is a sought-after option for many area lakes.  For more information click on the link.                                                                                                                            


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 1 – July 5:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  We have an active beaver that is building multiple dams along portions of this open ditch.  We are working with a specialist for proper beaver removal.  After the beaver are removed, we will find a contractor to clean out the dams.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  With some heavy rains lately, starting new pipe install has yet to happen as of last week.  Some pipe and equipment are on sight and things are close to starting if the heavy rains would quit for a while.  
  • JD51 Was. (Danville Twp.)  New toe drains were installed and side-bank reshaping is complete.  The buffer areas that were damaged from the cleaning will be reseeded soon. Heavy equipment should be moved off sight.  The photo below shows the two new toe-drain outlets into the ditch.jd51 toe drain
  • CD76 (McPherson Twp.)  We are planning to do some hydro-jetting in some old county tile that run under County Road 15, just 4 miles east of St. Clair.
  • JD36 (Butternut Twp.)  Some on-going issues with erosion.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Made it out to check on how our new rock-check-dam was working.  We have never used a design like this, with just rock and no pipe, before.  Time will tell how it performs and holds up.
  • JD85 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  All of our new ASI’s have been installed.  Just need some final seeding and we can put this clean water project to bed.  Two more similar projects are coming later this year in the Northeasterly part of the county.                                                     

Hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful Fourth of July.                                   4july pie

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