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Aug 27

Drainage Update 8/27/2020

Posted on August 27, 2020 at 8:49 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 8/27/2020


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.                                                       

Drainage Minutes:

I’ll admit I don’t have a lot to report about this past week, as I was gone for a good portion of last week on vacation.  I was fortunate enough to escape to northern Minnesota to enjoy some of the lakes.  The lake of choice this time was Lake Edward.  Lake Edward, is near the Brainerd and Nisswa area.  Fishing could have been better, but still had a relaxing time in the north country. 

Crews are still working on the repair and cleaning of CD05 located in Danville and Medo Townships.  Our new concrete weir structure is poured and is operational, just in the nick-of-time with the recent rains.  The new weir structure is part of a cost-share agreement with the State of Minnesota.  The wetland area, upstream of the new weir, should hold more water, without hindering any landowner’s drainage capacities.  The existing weir structure failed a few years ago, making the wetland area drier than what was intended.  The new structure is made of concrete and built for many years of service.  One more driveway crossing remains, otherwise all new crossings have been installed.  All trees and brush have been removed from the buffer area along this open ditch.  Approximately two miles of open ditch remain to be cleaned.  If conditions are right, crews can clean this amount in just a few short days.  Unless the weather causes major issues, I’m hoping this repair will be done in the next couple of weeks.

Equipment should start showing up on CD26, in McPherson Township, later this week.  I’m expecting three different contractors to be working on two different drainage system that join at their outlets.  CD26 and JTD83, joint with Waseca County, will both be getting a full cleaning this year.  These two drainage systems will be getting their open ditches cleaned from top to bottom, new buffer areas planted, new crossings in areas and even new water quality in-takes, to help keep the two drainage systems cleaner longer, reducing future maintence costs.

Our phosphorus filter that we installed along CD56, located near the town of Lake Crystal, is still working and being tested on a regular basis by our friends at the Blue Earth County SWCD.  With all the interruptions that 2020 has thrown at all of us, we will wait to have a years’ worth of consistent testing results, before we see just how well our experimental project is performing. 

In general, this year has been a great success for getting caught up with a long list of repairs from the past three very wet years.  We hope to keep getting as many repairs done as we can until things freeze up tight for the season.                                                                

Project Updates:  

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  No change from last week. 
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Crews are still leveling spoil piles and cleaning portions of the open ditch.  Tree and brush removal are complete.  New concrete weir structure is installed and working great.  Hope to finish up this repair in the next couple of weeks.  See photos provided of new box culvert
    new weir 2
    new weir

  • JD09 North (LeRay Twp.)  Final checklist items to clean up after harvest and hope to close-out this side of the calendar.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  No change from last week.  We are waiting until after harvest to make sure all checklist items are complete.                                                                                                

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  One small area of a sink hole is left to repair.  This small sink hole area is more than likely just a slightly separated old concrete tile.  Usually a quick and easy fix. 
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.New, dual wall 6-inch plastic pipe is installed.  Two new in-takes in the township road ditches are draining like they should.  A previous improper repair may have been part of the reason for drainage issues.  All issues have been corrected and flowing great again.
  • JD48 Brown (Butternut Twp.)  We have recently sprayed trees and brush along portions of this open ditch.  We will hopefully have crews working on other areas in need of repair, later this year.
  • CD05 (Danville Twp) Just monitoring repair work of our crews.
  • JD28 (Decoria Twp.)  Digging and televising in 8-foot tall corn.  We had concerns that portions of a county tile may have not been working properly.  We did drive through a corn field and despite the sub-tropic heat and 20 billion mosquitos, we did get our televising finished up.  Mud, mosquitoes and humidity, makes for a winning combination.  Photos provide of the new weir.

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