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Jul 21

Drainage Update 7/21/2020

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 5:02 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/21/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

Blue Earth County has recently started hosting board meetings and some drainage hearings virtually.  Blue Earth County staff has been using a combination of live-streaming video and conference call-in options.  Notices sent out for drainage hearings will include all necessary information for our constituents to attend these hearings virtually via internet or through the call-in option.

  • No upcoming hearings.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Drainage Minutes:

Pretty quiet week for water related news.  So, this week’s blog will be short and sweet.  Here’s what we are keeping busy with this time of year.  We have one major repair/cleaning going on in the southeast part of the county, involving CD05.  This repair involves basic cleaning, which includes sediment removal along the open ditch, tree and brush removal, slough and ditch bank reshaping.  We are also installing a few new crossings along various portions of the open ditch.

Mowing and spraying along some of our open ditches should be starting very soon.  This year’s activities for mowing and spraying along our open ditch buffer areas will be within the east and central regions of Blue Earth County.  As I have discussed in the past, we try to do the mowing and spraying of our buffer areas in a three-year cycle.  The three-year cycle is to make the maintenance more achievable and financially feasible.  We are already seeing good results from the drainage systems that we have started the mowing and spraying programs on.  We are seeing less weed issues and much less brush and tree growth.  Persistence is the key to keeping weeds and brush in control.  We are working through many of our open ditch systems to remove all trees and brush from the open ditch and buffer areas.  This is a very costly endeavor for drainage systems with large amounts of trees and brush.  Eventually, we will have all our open ditch systems tree free.

What’s coming up yet this year?  We will have two more major cleanings starting in the next month or so.  I am hoping to see two improvement projects get bid out and possibly started yet this year.  If not, we will more than likely have three or four improvement projects to start next year.

We are still working on water quality whenever possible.  We are installing almost thirty water quality Alternative Side Intakes (ASI) along portions of County Ditch 5, in Decoria Township.  With the two other major cleanings, CD26 and JTD83, we will have between 20 and 30 water quality intakes installed as part of the cleaning and repair.  These ASI structures have been proven to be great.  We are draining surface waters into our open ditch systems in a non-destructive manner and holding thousands of metric tons of soil on the landscape, instead of it being sucked into the open ditch.  Our phosphorus filter in Lake Crystal, along CD56, is still working and doing its job.  I am expecting some updated data from our partners over at the Blue Earth County Soil and Water office soon.  We have an inspection intake installed to get better and more consistent water samples, leading to more accurate data on the phosphorus filters performance.                                                                                                                                

Project Updates:  

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  We are hoping to close this project out very soon.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  The contractor is doing great, cleaning is moving right along. 
  • JD09 North (LeRay Twp.)  No changes from last week.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  No changes from last week.                                                                                          

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Our contractor is hoping to get this tile repair cleaned up and closed this week.  The drier weather is helping to keep tile repairs moving along.
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  Water has drained down enough that our contractor was able to make final tile repair connections.  There is some final grading needed in the area that was disturbed.
  • JD36 (Cambria Twp.)  Areas of standing water is almost all gone.  The drier weather is helping to keep some of our lowest, most susceptible flooding areas, drier than recent years.
  • CD05 (Danville Twp) Crews are doing great.  We’ve had three contractors working on trying to finish up this repair in the last week.  We have our general contractor cleaning the open ditch, repairing crossings and installing water quality intakes.  The second contractor is cutting trees and brush along all portions of the open ditch.  A lot of trees have been removed in the last week.  The newly cleaned up buffer areas are going to look great and will be maintained by methods of mowing and spraying.  Photos below of  some of the updated work going on.cd05cd05 2                                             

Do you have questions or topics about drainage that you would like to here more about? If you would like me to incorporate those concerns or topics in one of my future blogs, please feel free to email me at the listed email address below. 

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