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Jul 30

Old Methods to a Growing Problem

Posted on July 30, 2019 at 10:51 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/30/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • Blue Earth County Drainage will be holding a landowner informational meeting on August 9, 2019, for CD35.  CD35 ditch system is located in Mapleton Township.  Landowners affected by this meeting will be notified via mail. The notice will detail the time, location and meeting information.                                                                                                                               

Project Updates:


  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Televising should start this fall.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Due to recent rain, televising will have to wait a little for things to drain back down. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Most of the check-list items have been completed.  A few minor items will be finished after harvest with hopes of closing this project out this year.    
  • JD51 Waseca (Danville Twp.)  All but a few small areas of buffer reseeding are complete. Cleaning has been completed and new outlets were installed where needed. 
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Despite Mother-Nature's rain last week, our contractor is slowly but surely getting tile installed on this repair petition project. A few weeks of drier weather would be wonderful for pipe installation.  Shown below, a section of new pipe being installed.  cd28 2

Old Methods Bring New Ideas:

Blue green algae is nothing new to lake-going Minnesotans.  But is it just a Minnesota issue?  Many states across the country are facing the ever-growing green monster, we call blue green algae.  Many states are finding it harder to control and stop the spreading from one water body to the next.  Many times, the large blooms of algae will float away downstream to another river, lake or beach, possibly affecting and causing economic issues in surrounding areas.

In Florida, an engineering group is combining efforts with the Army Corp of Engineers to combat this algae problem.  The engineering group has a history of working with wastewater and drinking water public facilities. The two parties are working on a special project to help combat blue green algae blooms on a large lake in Florida.  The company is taking its knowledge of "bubbling up" or floating the algae blooms to the waters surface and then using a method of skimming to remove it.  The "bubbling up" effect is technically known as “dissolved air flotation”.

The Army Corp of Engineers received funding from Congress last year for the project.  They are ultimately looking for scalable solutions that can be applied anywhere across the country.  The current system ,which is under development and being tested, can treat as much as 100 million gallons per day.

The engineers are even looking for possible long-term uses for the algae that is harvested.  These possibilities could include bio-fuels or other consumer used products like shoes.  This information was part of an interesting article I recently read.  For more details, and the full reading of the article, click on the link to check it out.

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

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Beavers have been removed and the dam should be gone soon.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Less than favorable working conditions. Tough soils and no cooperation by Mother-Nature last week.
  • JD51 Was. (Danville Twp.)  Hydro-seeding is coming up nicely.
  • CD29 (Danville Twp.)  We had a contractor replace a portion of old clay tile line.  The new tile, HDPE dual-wall, was installed at the same depth and location of the old clay tile.
  • CD27 (Lincoln Twp.)  The new ditch reshaping is complete, as is the open ditch cleaning.  Final leveling and dirt work should be done later within the next couple of weeks, followed by seeding.  We will hydro-seed the side slopes and new bench area, while traditionally drilling the seed in for the buffer.  Photo of our new bench shown below. cd27

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