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Apr 28

Drinking Water Research

Posted on April 28, 2020 at 11:34 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 4/28/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • In response to the current COVID 19 situation, all hearings and meetings for drainage have been suspendedWe will send out new notices for all hearings and meetings that need to be rescheduled.
  • Blue Earth County staff is actively exploring potential solutions to resume drainage meetings. More information to come as it's available.                                                                                                                                            

Corona Virus and Drinking Water:

Two University of Minnesota professors have taken on the challenge of testing for Corona virus in drinking water supplies.  The professors believe that there could be a chance that the virus has the potential to spread to drinking water supplies from wastewater.  Most cities, or municipalities that treat their drinking water supply shouldn’t have to worry, as their processes usually kill pathogens such as viruses.

The concern is with wastewater.  The waste that is passed from a Corona Virus infected person, could potentially make its way to drinking water supplies in certain situations.  The professors worry that the typical septic tank systems could be potential problems for transmitting the virus to a private well.

There is a small number of cities that still do not disinfect their drinking water supply.  These cities, along with private wells, are where the professors believe they could possibly find the virus.

A major focus of the study will include water facilities that get their water supply from a river or lake system, and facilities that pump their water supply from the ground.  The plan is to test both cities that treat their water supply and those that do not.  The prediction is that very little is suspected to be found in the treated water supplies.

Research is scheduled to begin in early May and finish up towards the end of June.  Funding for this study is coming from state lottery proceeds that are set aside for emerging issues and requires official approval of Governor Walz. 

For more reading on this subject check out the full article with the link provide.

Project Updates:  

  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Final checklist items are supposed to be completed and we hope to move towards scheduling a completion hearing for this improvement.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  No updates from last week.
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Televising and final checklist items should have been completed as of last week.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  No change from last week with this repair.  Cleaning of the open ditch should start in the next couple weeks.  Tree clearing will be going on intermittently, as the tree clearing and ditch cleaning crews may need to work together in some tougher areas.


Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD87 (Garden City Twp.)  Waiting for the official word and revised work order for repairs to begin, but the contractor has been selected and notified.  We are hoping to have crews start with repairs the first week of May.
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  CSAH 32 in Lincoln Township has been repaired and opened back up for travel.  We have multiple contractors making repairs to sink hole areas along portions of the old tile system.  Most of the holes have been repaired, but a few remain, with hopes of completing these in the next week or so.jd15
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  More sink hole issues; three found along portions of the county tile system.
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  We still have tile issues to repair to various portions of this public drainage system, however, many repairs were completed last week.  Many of these repairs are the same areas year after year, long-term improvements might need to be a topic of discussion for future landowner meetings.
  • CD57 (Mapleton Twp.)  We've had various sink holes along areas of the tile system.  Those repairs where made by a local contractor as of last week.
  • CD69 (Mankato Twp.)  This is a smaller public drainage system that actually drains through the south side of Mankato, into a structure.  This structure tends to be high maintenance.  The maintenance usually comes from debris constricting the water flow.  Photo below shows how nice it looks when things are flowing good.cd69 outlet structure

We have multiple contractors making repairs across the county currently.  Please report repair issues to our drainage staff as soon as you notice them, as this will expedite the time in getting those repairs made.

eagle update

An eagle update...hard to see in the picture but there are for sure two small eagle chicks in the nest.  Sorry for the blurry picture with cell phone camera, but the watchful parents didn't appreciate me getting any closer to their babies.

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