Blue Earth County DrainageBlog

Jan 05

January 5, 2021 Update

Posted on January 5, 2021 at 1:10 PM by Ryan Hiniker

jtd83 weir
Two of our new concrete control weirs installed as part of the JTD83 located in McPherson Township.

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Dec 01

Drainage Update 12/1/2020

Posted on December 1, 2020 at 12:17 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 12/1/2020


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.

  • No upcoming hearings.                                                                                                                                       

Drainage update

Special notice that blogs will be posted only monthly for the months of December, January and February.  We should be back to more frequent blogs in March 2021.

Things are still busy for this first day of December in 2020.  We currently have four different contractors making repairs across the county.  Repairs, both large and small, are still happening as we still have no frost in the ground.  Our two larger repairs, located just northeast of St. Clair, are both reaching their final stages.  We are working on getting a bunch of smaller repairs complete as well as televising as much as we can. 

We use televising to investigate areas of concern when we have tile issues.  Tile issues usually include not draining well or areas of sink holes along a tile line.  Televising is the most efficient way to get a look at the true status of a tile line.  We can send a small “car like” televising unit through pipes down to 8-inches in size.  The televising unit only requires an entrance into the tile of about 12-inches by 12-inches.  I know I mentioned it would fit in an 8-inch tile, but the length of the televising unit is long, so it needs a larger area to be set down into the pipe.

Once we get going, we can televise thousands of feet in a matter of hours.  Of course, that number and timeframe are very dependent on the shape of the pipe.  When I say the shape of the pipe, I don’t always mean literally, although out of shape pipe could slow things down. I’m speaking more about if there is a lot of dirt or sediment in the pipe or other foreign debris that would slow down the televising unit.  Usually televising leads to finding more issues that will need repair at some point.  We also will use televising to figure out estimated costs for repairs or improvements, by finding how many linear feet of tile need to be fixed.

Not a whole lot of anything fun to discuss this time in the blog but stay tuned for January 2021 will be the next addition to the blog.                                                                                                

Project Updates:  

  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  Project has been awarded and our general contractor can start work whenever they see fit.  More than likely, it won’t happen in 2020.  The end of the year is always a rush to get all current repairs and projects finished up before things freeze up.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Nothing new from last week.
  • CD26 (McPherson Twp.) Nothing new from last week.  Pretty healthy list of things to complete for this repair cleaning.
  • JTD83 (McPherson Twp.)  Crews continue to work on repairing outlets to the open ditch and trying to get things ready for final seeding along the buffer area.  Crews have three more concrete control structures to complete this year, I’m hoping these are done in the next week or two, as temps are getting really cold overnight.

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD56 (Lincoln Twp.)  Made an open ditch inspection, found some issues with beavers and a crossing in need of cleaning.
  • Not too many inspections made because of the short week last week with the holiday.  I did stop in on my two larger repairs, CD26 and JTD83, both are north east of St. Clair. 
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Tile inspection to a few areas of concern.  Photo below shows one are in need of repair.cd28

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



Nov 24

Wolves and Wetlands

Posted on November 24, 2020 at 4:59 PM by Ryan Hiniker

trumpeter swans
Massive and amazing birds, Trumpeter Swans.  No mistaking their very interesting sound.

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