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Nov 05

Crunch Time

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 10:14 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 11/5/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • No upcoming hearings or meetings.

Project Updates:


  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Checklist items still remain for after harvest and things dry up.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Checklist items remain as well as televising pipe. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Contractor to be finishing up all checklist items soon.   
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  NEW! We are installing an iron phosphorus subsurface filter that will filter tile line water.  This is to be a first of its kind in Minnesota.  Our contractor is looking to start next week, provided the remaining supplies show up this week.  The weather still looks fairly favorable, with no frost in the ground as of yet.slag
         The photo above shows the slag filtering material for the new phosphorus filter.                                                                                                                                                                  

Drainage Minutes:

So, what happens if I’m out and I notice a broken tile or issue with an open ditch and suspect that it might be a county drainage system?  We, the drainage staff, prefer that you first call our office.  We use a software system which helps us track all of our drainage issues all across the county.  It’s a combination of a reporting system, tracking system and GIS all wrapped into one software system.  We use this software, which is entirely web-based and can be accessed using our mobile devices, to easily track repairs.  Many of you are familiar with this software, called Drainage DB. 

We prefer that the repair be reported to us first so we can go out into the field and confirm it impacts a county drainage system.  We also prefer to hire from a group of trusted contractors that we continually work with throughout the year.  We are always looking for more contractors that are willing to complete county drainage related work.

The drainage end of the year crunch includes from multiple tasks. We are working hard to get all projects and repairs completed. We are also planning for next year’s repairs and establishing next year's assessments for each drainage system.  No, this does not mean every drainage system will see an assessment, but we still go through every drainage system account and make sure there is a minimum dollar amount available.  We try to keep a minimum in each system's account so we don’t run negative on any drainage system.  We are able to accomplish this by planning ahead for the upcoming year and estimating the potential costs that could occur.

It is no hidden secret that many ditch systems have seen increases to their assessments in the past few years.  There is a direct correlation to the increases in spending on repairs and improvements due to the abnormally wet recent years.  The one-two punch of old aging infrastructure of the drainage systems and record moisture amounts in the last few years leads to increased costs to keep systems running.

Looking ahead to next year, things are going to be very busy.  This is really no surprise, as things have been extremely busy the last few years. We anticipate four to five possible improvement projects and more than a few larger scale repairs. 

Please report all county drainage system repair issues ,whether it be a tile or open ditch, to the county's drainage staff.  The sooner things get reported the more likely they are to get repaired timely.  Have a good week everyone.



Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 28 – November 1:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Monitoring beaver activity along the open ditch portion of this system.  No new activity noticed from beavers.  A small beaver dam to be removed this week.
  • JD48 Bro (Butternut Valley Twp.)  Met with a contractor last week to look at repairs that need to be completed.  We hope to start those repairs this week.
  • CD95 (Mapleton Twp.)   I will be meeting with a contractor to clean around all of the road crossings that have large amounts of sediment and vegetation built up around them.
  • JD36 Brown (Cambria & Butternut Valley Twps.)  We have a contractor set to start finishing repairs to tile and open ditch concerns.  Utility locations should be marked early this week and we hope to see the start of repairs.  We also have another beaver trapper that will be helping us with beaver removal along the open ditch.
  • CD88 (McPherson Twp.)  I inspected a report of a sink hole and broken tile, which we hope to get fixed this year.
  • JD13 (Mankato Twp.)  Needing to finish up a repair from this spring.
  • CD93 (Decoria Twp.)  There is a blown out field crossing in need of repair.
  • CD56 (Lincoln Twp.)  Inspected multiple sink hole areas.  The sink holes are not blocking flow, but need to be repaired as soon as possible. Photo below - one of the multiple sink holes found along this branch.cd56 sink hole
  • JD21 (Lyra Twp.)  Issue of in-take erosion.  A new properly sized in-take will be needed.

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