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Aug 19

Tours and Technology

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 4:17 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 8/19/2016

Project updates:

  • CD34 (Judson Twp.) Crews where shut down for much of the week due to very heavy rain events in the last week making working conditions difficult.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) Good news! Crews are set to start laying pipe next week to continue on the improvement project that started earlier this year.  The last few weeks have been spent cleaning out sections of new pipe that were laid and needed to be cleaned out using a vacuum system.  The heavy rains and unfavorable soils in this area made for very difficult working conditions.


Minnesota Legislative Water Commission Field Trip:

Wednesday 8/17 of this last week, we had a group of State Representatives and other various state officials stop by our very own CD57 (Mapleton Twp.) for a tour.  CD57, as some of you may know, is a unique and “high tech” system by drainage industry standards.
This group from the state of Minnesota was traveling around the state that day making various stops to get a hands-on feel for what we (in the drainage industry) are doing for future advances and to better help clean water quality. 

CD57 has a few features that were added during its construction to help with clean water quality and also storage and control of storm surges of water coming through the ditch.  There are a series of control dikes in the ditch system, as well as a sediment control basin that looks like a pond in high water events and helps to clean out the nitrates and phosphorus particles that are suspended in the flowing water.  We will have other various groups coming through to view this ditch system and the technology we utilized in the coming months.

CD57 tour

CD86 (Beauford Twp.) Land Owner Meeting:  We held our landowner informational meeting this week on 8/16 in St. Clair.  The topic of discussion was issues with a failing tile line that has been causing flooding issues and crop loss for a number of years.  Part of this discussion was to either replace the two existing lines with just one larger HDPE pipe or to replace the tile that is non-functional.  We will be doing some additional exploratory televising of the pipe to see if there is additional sections of pipe outside of the area we know is defective.

Televising Pipe?

Televising pipe has been around for a while now, so it’s not a super new technology, but is relatively new to the use of inspecting our county main tiles.  I tagged along yesterday (8/18), to watch as a crew inspected and televised one of our county tiles in Butternut Valley Township. 

JD36 was one of the systems that was hit by damage from the June 17th storms that dropped 7 inches of rain in that Cambria and Butternut area.  The unit that is used for televising pipe is a very heavy and expensive robot.  This robot is remotely controlled from a trailer unit and drives through the pipe recording in HD quality video. 

We knew that we had visible above ground damage and wanted to take a better inventory of our below ground conditions of this pipe system.  The branch that we inspected is branch 9 of JD36.  This branch was installed around 1923 and is a large 32” concrete pipe system.  From what we found in the televising inspection, most of the pipe is still in very good condition for its age.  We did find a couple of areas of concern that we will need to do some exploratory digging on - planned for this fall.

camera robot 
Televising robot trailer

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of August 15-19: 

*Not too many inspections this week due to meetings and putting together plans with contractors to get some of the work from the previous months' inspections started and going.  Inspections will be intermittent, but will more than likely be more concentrated after harvest season time.

  • JD116 (Pleasant Mound Twp.) Inspection was done to observe issues of various spots of sloughing and gully washing in the most northerly end of this system.  This issue will hopefully get fixed yet this fall after crop removal.
  • JD36 (Butternut Twp.) Televised and inspected for defects of old concrete pipe.  Looking for additional damage from June storms.
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.) Inspection of issues with noxious weeds.  Like many other ditch systems in the county, Ragweed is becoming a large and difficult issue to control.  Future plans of weed and brush management are being developed to try to get a better handle on these continuing issues. 
JD116 slough
JD116 slough

Upcoming Drainage Inspections:
  • CD27 (Butternut Valley Twp.)
  • JD38 (Sterling Twp.)
  • JD49 (Sterling Twp.)
  • CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.)
  • CD01 (McPherson Twp.)

Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Management Specialist