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May 05

Drainage Update 5/5/2020

Posted on May 5, 2020 at 4:59 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 5/5/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • In response to COVID-19, 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 working towards alternate ways of hosting virtual hearings and landowner meetings.  We are working with other counties and other outside resources to work towards a possible solution to resume meetings.                                                                                                                                           

Drainage Minutes:

Things have been very busy the past few weeks.  We’ve had multiple contractors making many repairs all across the county. We have been trying to get as many tile repairs done as we can despite planting season being in full swing.

There has been a fairly large number of calls this spring for new repairs, but nothing like the past few years.  But, is that a good thing?  To me, that means the weather isn’t as wet as it has been the past few springs and that many of our repairs are getting fixed, while new repair reporting is remains low.  I feel like we might get caught up, or at least closer to being caught up.

We have two fairly major repairs currently going on.  The first repair/cleaning is CD05 in the southeast corner of the county, and the second is CD87 near Lake Crystal which just started today.  CD05 is located in Medo and Danville townships.  This public drainage system is made up of mostly open ditch with just a very small portion of subsurface tile.  The repair for 2020 is cleaning the open ditch of sediment and clearing the ditch and buffer areas of any trees, brush or other debris.  We do not allow any permanent structures of any sort in the buffer and ditch area.  We will be installing a few new road crossings as part of this project.  As we come through and clean the open ditch, we have the contractor install fabric and riprap rock around any and all outlet tile into the open ditch.  Any outlet tiles found to be out of repair will also be fixed at this time.

CD87 is a smaller public drainage system, located in Garden City township, right on the west side of Lake Crystal.  CD87 was installed in the early 1960’s and has around two hundred benefitted acres.  The major repair we are currently undergoing, actually crews just started today, is boring a new tile line under Minnesota State Highway 60.  The new tile line will be a seamless heavy-duty plastic pipe.  The contractor uses a drilling machine that they can be guided at a certain grade. After drilling is complete, the new pipe is pulled back through the freshly drilled area with the brand-new seamless pipe.  The new pipe will be hooked up to the old pipe at two different locations.  The new connections will be the primary draining source for the old line to the new line.  Directional drilling and boring pipe are an interesting science.  I find it amazing how accurate contractors can be with under ground boring's.  Pictured below is the grade staking for the directional drilling contractor to use for boring our new 15 inch tile under the highway.cd87 pic 1

Today we awarded what will be our third major repair for the year.  This bid award was for JTD83, a joint drainage system with Waseca County.  The repair will be similar to CD05, in that it will consist of ditch cleaning, brush and tree removal and some road crossing replacements.                                                                                                             

Project Updates:  

  • JD48 (Cambria Twp.)  We had a contractor out make a few slough repairs to areas of the open ditch portion of this system.  We had a crossing that was washing out the downstream side of a culvert crossing.  Reshaping of the ditch bank, some riprap rock was added and minor sediment cleaning from the actual open ditch.
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  No updates from last week.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Open ditch cleaning to begin the end of May or first part of June.


Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  We have had multiple contractors working on three or four different areas of this public drainage system in the past few weeks.  This system is an all tile system.  Repairs are often not easy due to the age of the tile and the soil conditions sometimes.
  • CD64 (Sterling Twp.)  We had a contractor fix what was supposed to be a simple sink hole area.  This simple fix turned into digging up and removing 60 feet of old dilapidated metal pipe.  This metal pipe was more than likely someone’s private tile work and not performed by a county contractor.
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  We still have a few tile issues to repair to various portions of this public drainage system, but 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.
  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Inspected multiple areas of sink hole issues with this ageing system.
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  We just had a contractor over fixing multiple sink hole areas two weeks ago.  It turns out that we found another, and this sink hole is a dozy.  Picture below showing the sink hole.  Doesn't look like much but it's much deeper than you'd think. jd17
  • JD07 (Lincoln Twp.)  We are trying to finish up some areas of televising.

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.

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