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Posted on August 20, 2019 at 10:05 AM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 8/20/2019
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
We spoke last week about the repair side of things versus improvement. This week we will start down the path of improvement process, which can be lengthy and expensive.
Technology is constantly changing in all facets of industry. Why would drainage be any different? Many producers system tile their fields with 50 foot spacing, or less, in between tile lines. Most of these new tile systems are designed to drain a half inch of water per day. A potential drainage problem occurs when new tile is connected to an old tile system. Many of our older system where designed to handle a quarter of an inch per day of water, or less. I often tell people to envision hooking up a fire hose to a garden hose and hoping it will work.
Typically improvements start with a landowner or a group of landowners coming together to discuss on-going issues with their drainage system. Many producers are seeing the financial impacts that outdated drainage systems can have on producing row crops, or agriculture, in general. The drainage staff, either Craig or myself, usually try to discuss the steps and options landowners have, either completing a repair or improvement. If it is decided that an improvement would serve the best interest of the drainage system and the landowners, we would then proceed down the improvement route. One of the first steps to the improvement is having a feasibility study completed on the system. We also recommend, around that same time, landowners consult a drainage attorney. Improvements are a legal proceeding and require an attorney. Landowners do not have to consult an attorney right away, but we, Blue Earth County Drainage staff, feel it’s a good place to start to become informed about the legal process and potential liabilities to the landowners.
The feasibility study is a very quick and fairly inexpensive engineer report. The report will usually include current tile sizes, ditches and drainage coefficients. The report will also give an approximate cost to improve the existing system, whether it’s the entire system or just portions. We conduct landowner meetings to discuss these improvement options and to gain feedback from the landowners about costs, alternatives, and if there is still a desire to continue forward with the improvement. Check in next week for more information regarding improvements.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of August 12 – August 16:
Just as a friendly reminder with the grass buffer areas along our county ditches, we ask that people please do not place rocks or any debris that may damage our contractor’s mower or sprayer equipment. We also ask that no equipment or permanent items be parked or left in this buffer area. We are doing the mowing and spraying as part of maintence and preserving the over-all health of the ditch system. Please call or email with questions or concerns.
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.
Drainage Management Specialist