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Oct 06

Informational Newsletter

Posted on October 6, 2020 at 4:56 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 10/6/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

Blue Earth County have been 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.

  • JD34 & JD09 (LeRay Twp.)  Final acceptance hearings for both improvement projects, will be held on October 20, 2020.  Those affected landowners should receive notice via U.S. Mail, with details and instructions for hearings.                                                                               

Drainage Minutes:

I will give a quick update of all thing’s drainage related.  We still have many crews making both large and small repairs all over the county.  Our major repair projects are either just about finished or well underway.  We plan on making repairs and fixes for as long as Mother-Nature will allow us to this year.  We do have a couple larger repairs that will be coming up soon, as well as possible new projects. 

Now that harvest season is in full swing, repairs are starting to be reported once again.  Please remember to report these repairs as soon as possible so they can get on the list for our contractors to get them done.

We are also very busy this time of year with televising and open ditch inspections.  Now that I have started a few areas of ditch inspections, I am finding areas of buffer violations.  Those individual landowners will receive violation notices with instructions on how to make corrective actions to bring their property back into 103E compliance.  Some of the common violation issues include improper width for buffer (16.5ft), as well as fence posts, rocks and other permanent debris that is not allowed in the buffer areas.  Costs to make repairs to buffer violation areas can be charged to the landowner, if said violation is not brought back into compliance in the time allotted in the violation notice.

For more information on these subjects or others that might be drainage related, please email me or call me with the contact information provided at the end of the blog.                                                                                                

Water Talk Newsletter:

I came across this interesting email the other day.  The email has many articles talking about multiple issues of water and water quality; too many to list here.  Have you ever wondered how your groundwater gets into the ground?  Check out the many quick demonstration videos included in the article.  A very educational video demonstration, I only wish they would do more of these types of videos for more areas across the state.  Ever wonder about shorelines and altering land around water bodies, there’s even information on that (remember to consult your zoning official prior to completing work).  Looking for better understanding for floodplain areas?  Wondering about shoreline ordinances?  This article provides a general understanding, but please contact your zoning official prior to construction, as regulations may change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  If any of these subjects interest you, click the link below to explore this newsletter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Project Updates:  

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  Final closeout documents received.  Final acceptance hearing to be held October 20, 2020. 
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  All re-cleaning should be complete at this point, now it’s up to the seeding to do its job and get these ditches and buffer areas growing.  Crews should be cleaned up and mostly pulled off the sight.
  • JD09 North / South (LeRay Twp.)  Final close out documents have been received.  Final acceptance hearing scheduled for October 20, 2020.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Few “after harvest” items remain, mostly grading small areas and cutting down in-takes, in a few areas.
  • CD26 (McPherson Twp.) Cleaning of the open ditch is slowly being completed.  Crews have been pushing hard the last week getting our new water quality in-takes installed, also known as ASI’s.
  • JTD83 (McPherson Twp.)  Crews had to take a short break from sediment cleaning, as their ditch cleaning bucket for their larger excavator needed some minor repairs.  Open ditch cleaning and reshaping is going on in full force.  Crews have been doing some major reshaping and repairing in some areas of the open ditch, especially near the outlet of this ditch system.  We had to haul in dozens of loads of clay to rebuild areas of the ditch bank that had been severely eroded.  Crews are also busy putting in one of their many new culvert crossings.   newly reshaped ditch banks jtd83

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD05 (Danville Twp.) Inspecting small areas of re-cleaning. 
  • JD48 (Butternut Valley Twp.)  Contractor is just about finished fixing a few areas of major sloughing.  Some of the areas have been reseeded, as well as miscellaneous repairs to other areas along the open ditch near Butternut.  Some of these repairs include removing rock piles (do not put rocks in buffer area) and removing a few large trees in the buffer area.  Now we have a beaver issue along a portion of the open ditch.jd48 repairs
  • CD26 (McPherson Twp.)  Monitoring repair efforts.
  • JTD83 (McPherson Twp.)  Large areas of reshaping and installing new road crossings.  We also have a beaver issue on the open ditch holding back very large amounts of water in areas of the open ditch.  Photo below showing crews preparing to install new concrete pipe tile for a township road crossing jtd83
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Issues with many new tile sink hole areas.  Some of these sink hole areas about the size of a large full-size truck.  See photo below compared to the size of our Ranger.cd56 large sink hole
  • JD36 (Cambria Twp.)  Inspecting areas in need of slough repairs and televising.
  • JD07 (Lincoln Twp.)  Waiting on harvest to finish on a couple fields to finish televising.
  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Putting together information for a large-scale repair to a branch and lateral of old original tile line installed around 1917.  After more than 100 years, it might be time to replace.

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.  We also do not allow any permanent or seasonal items to be placed in our open ditches or buffer areas.  These types of items would include rocks, fence posts, trailers or other agricultural equipment, just to mention a few items.  If you have questions or concerns with open ditches or buffers, please call.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist