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Jul 08

GBERBA (Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance) Meeting

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 3:56 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/8/2016

Project updates:

  • CD34 (Judson Twp.) progress is still going, but slower due to heavier rains again this week.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) no update at this point.
  • CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.) some final touching up with the field crossing but the rest is looking good and mostly all done.


I had the opportunity to attend a GBERBA meeting today in Winnebago.  GBERBA stands for Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance.  There were some very interesting topics discussed with very good speakers.  Tom Gile from BWSR (Minnesota Board of Water and Soil) gave us buffer legislation updates and took on many questions of concern from the crowd that consisted of many different county drainage authorities and SWCD employees.  Always good to hear from Tom, as he does a good job of keeping us updated to changes in government with buffer laws and upcoming deadlines associated with it.

Another good topic of discussion was “Linking Water Storage”.  This presentation was put on by Jessica Nelson who represented MSU-WRC (Water Resource Center), and Dustin Anderson from SWCD.  The two of them discussed the environmental benefits to water storage.  Part of this discussion was some tools one can use to help quantify these benefits of water storage.  Water storage is one of many water quality best management practices, or BMP, that is becoming more commonly used today.  BMP’s can be a lot of different things, from buffer strips to new intake structures that preserve top soil, to WASCOB’s.  WASCOBs or water and sediment control basins, these are becoming more popular especially in areas of open ditches with a history of ditch bank blowouts. 

The major topic of the day was Faribault County's CD62 woodchip bioreactor project.  Bioreactors are still somewhat new to Minnesota but a great source for filtering water of sediment and nitrates.  Faribault County current holds the record for having the largest woodchip bioreactor in the state.  This bioreactor filters water from a 600 acre watershed.  It will be interesting to see down the road how their data turns out as far as a water quality output from this reactor.

Thanks to all the sponsors for today’s meeting it was a fun and educational day.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of July 4 - July 8: 

  • JD 85 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  Overall in very good shape, few areas of erosion to watch for.
  • JD 82 (Pleasant Mound Twp.)  Could use a light cleaning in the near future but in good shape.
  • JD 116 (Pleasant Mound Twp.) Minor sloughs here and there, but in great shape overall.

Upcoming Drainage Inspections – week of June 13 – 17: 

  • CD 50 (Butternut Valley Twp.)
  • CD91 (Sterling Twp.)
  • CD 27 (Butternut Valley Twp.)
  • CD 86 (Decoria Twp.)
  • CD 93 (Decoria Twp.)

 Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Management Specialist