Blue Earth County DrainageBlog

Aug 04

Poisonous Plants

Posted on August 4, 2021 at 11:24 AM by Ryan Hiniker

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Can anyone guess what state I was in?

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Jul 21

Problematic Pets

Posted on July 21, 2021 at 1:07 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 7/21/2021



Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:


Blue Earth County board meetings are now back in-person.  We ask those individuals wishing to attend in-person board meetings to abide by current Covid-19 guidelines.  Masks are no longer required and all county buildings are fully open to the public.  Public drainage meetings will also be held in-person starting immediately with the same Covid-19 restrictions as our in-person board meetings.

  • JD15 (Jamestown Twp.)  A hearing for this public drainage system is coming up.  Those affected landowners should have received notice via U.S. Mail of the details of date and time.


Pesky Goldfish:

I know I briefly spoke about this issue awhile back, on a more local level, but it’s turned out to be much bigger than I ever thought.  Goldfish, yes, goldfish are causing some of the biggest issues with water quality and threating native fish species.  Ever wonder what happens to your old pet goldfish that you threw out in a pond or stream?  Well, check out the hyperlink provided below to read just how much of pain these pets turn into.

The recent article I came across spoke about how DNR staff are now finding goldfish all over the state in various waterbodies and this pet issue has turned into a very expensive problem.   How much of an issue you ask, how about an entire dump truck load of goldfish removed, around 500,000.  This was taken from a lake near Chaska. 

This goldfish growth spurt seems to be affecting many other states also, according to the article.

This unwanted dumping of this species in our waterbodies is not only costly to clean up, but it’s illegal in most states, Minnesota included.  The act of dumping your pet into our streams and waterbodies is actually illegal fish stocking.  The invasive species can survive for over 20 years and grow to surprisingly large sizes.   The goldfish is similar to the carp species, in they muck up the sediment on the bottom of lakes and waterbodies to feed off nutrients and other species near the bottom of our waterbodies.  The additional disturbance of the sediment at the bottom of our waterways leads to reduced water clarity and quality.  The stirring up of the sediment can also release nutrients that can lead to additional algae bloom issues.

Consider a different means of cutting ties with your pet fish other than dumping them into our Minnesota waterbodies.





Project Updates:   

  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  By the end of this week our contractor on this project should be about 50% complete.  Crews have been taking advantage of the dry weather, despite some areas of tougher soils to work through.  If this pace can continue, we expect a pretty early completion for this project.  Photo below showing crews having to work around three-phase electrical.jd17 three-phase lines
  • JD14 (Judson Twp.)  Not much work done on this site over the past week. Boring crews have installed the two new tile crossings under the two county roads in the northwestern portion of this project.  No new tile installed this week by the contractor.
  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  Crews started this week with installing new hdpe tile.  They are starting by connecting into the main line and running south with the new branch line.  



Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD50 (Lincoln Twp.)  We have our contractor onsite starting this repair.  The contractor was going to use a new method of installation, but the poor soils made it not feasible, so the contractor is back to installing this new hdpe tile line using excavation.
  • JD48 (Butternut Valley Twp.)  We have our mowing and spraying contractor out mowing on some of the areas in the county we have identified as needing intensive mowing.  This means mowing every year for a number of years until substantial grass takes over, instead of weed pressure.  We’ve had very good results so far with this method, even better than chemical spraying.jd48 intensive mowing
  • JD09 Brown (Cambria Twp.)  Contractor completed repairs needed to this field crossing.  Things look nice and hopefully will withstand the next blast of higher water levels.
  • CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  We had an issue with beavers blocking off water in our ditch system.  
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  Locating new tile locations and monitoring site conditions.
  • Reviewing a few open ditch systems that we sprayed last year for brush and weed control.  Overall, very satisfied with control of brush.
  • Please remember that repairs to county drainage systems must be repaired by qualified contractors.   All repairs need to be inspected by drainage staff before authorizing work.  Unauthorized work will be denied payment.  Call with questions on this matter.  

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 Ryan, 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




Jul 09

Hot Weather, Affecting More Than Just Humans

Posted on July 9, 2021 at 11:16 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Big Ol' new township road tile for JD116.

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