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Oct 21

Clean Bill of Health

Posted on October 21, 2020 at 7:47 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 10/21/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

Blue Earth County has 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.

  • No upcoming hearings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Clean Bill of Health:

No big secret that Minnesota’s biggest assets is our water and water resources.  Over the last few decades, great strides have been made to better our water quality all over Minnesota.  Proof of our water quality efforts making a difference would be the St. Croix River area.  St. Croix River has the honor of being one of the cleanest tributaries to the Mississippi River.

St. Croix River area has some of the lowest bacterial and algae recordings.  Although, pharmaceuticals, phosphorus and chlorine are on the rise in this tributary, water quality remains very clean.  The article goes on to speak about water temperatures and how they are slowly creeping in an upward trend.  This upward tick is being attributed to the slight increase to outside pollutants, sediments, chlorine and other factors.

Did you know that the St. Croix River area is home to 41 different mussel species?  Five of these species are on a federal endangered list.  Fish populations and species are very healthy and sustained.

One of the large factors that is keeping this tributary so clean for so long is the largely untouched forestry areas along the river area.  Much of this river area is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, established in 1968.  Good work by all groups that are involved in keeping this tributary a shining example of what water quality could be like.

St. Croix River area is one of my favorite areas to explore and enjoy, for good reason.  Anyone that visits this area knows firsthand just how special this water body is.  For further reading of this article, please follow the link.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Project Updates:  

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  October 20, 2020, the final acceptance hearing was held, and this project was accepted and closed out.  From this day going forward, we now have a three-year warranty period.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Nothing new from last week.
  • JD09 North / South (LeRay Twp.)  Acceptance hearing was held and accepted on October 20, 2020.  We now have a three-year warranty period starting today.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Few “after harvest” items remain, mostly grading small areas and cutting down in-takes, in a few areas.
  • CD26 (McPherson Twp.) Not much repair work was done last week, mostly because of poor weather.  Our contractor did complete some open ditch cleaning over the weekend.
  • JTD83 (McPherson Twp.)  Some of our first areas of cleaning now have been graded and seeded.  Things are moving right along.  The weather may have slowed things up a bit last week, but crews are still making the best of it.  We are still installing ASI’s and doing ditch cleaning/reshaping.                                                                                                              

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • JD48 (Butternut Valley Twp.)  Multiple contractors making repairs to different areas of this drainage system.  We also have a beaver issue to a small portion of the open ditch.
  • CD26 (McPherson Twp.)  Monitoring repair efforts.
  • JTD83 (McPherson Twp.)  Not much for repairs in the last week because of weather.
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  All tile repairs should be caught up on this system.  We do have one additional slough repair to get done.  We did some televising last week.
  • JD36 (Cambria Twp.)  Televising got done last week of a small branch to part of the tile area of this system.  Small tile repair to make.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Making a few last minute checks and repairs before closing this improvement project out.
I was able to escape for a few days up north.  Notice any famous places in my photos below.  Yes, it did snow about one inch, just enough to make things slippery.IMG_0884IMG_0878IMG_0873IMG_0865

Special note, as I am making some annual inspections along areas of open ditches, I am noticing an increasing number of buffer violation areas.  Please remember that all 103E drainage systems are required to have a 16.5-foot buffer along the open ditch areas.  Wondering if your ditch falls into the 103E category, give me a call or email.

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