Blue Earth County DrainageBlog

Apr 06

Drainage Season 2021

Posted on April 6, 2021 at 4:56 PM by Ryan Hiniker

JD11, joint with Waseca County, has been seeing a larger than normal flow for this time of year with drawing down lake levels of Lake Elysian.

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Mar 02

Reel Them Up!

Posted on March 2, 2021 at 12:46 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Dreaming of warmer days...photo taken down in Florida during a Dolphin tour.

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Feb 02

One Watershed One Plan

Posted on February 2, 2021 at 12:40 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 2/2/2021


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.

  • CD57 (Mapleton Twp.)  A public hearing will be hosted to discuss a Petition for Partial Abandonment for a portion of “original” concrete tile.  Details pertaining to the upcoming hearing will be mailed out, via U.S. Mail, to those individuals affected.
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  An upcoming hearing will be held for this public drainage system.  Details for the hearing will be sent to those affected individuals.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  An upcoming hearing will be held for this public drainage system.  Details for this upcoming hearing will be sent to affected individuals via U.S. Mail.                                                                                                                                                                            

Drainage update:

What keeps drainage staff busy during this wintery, frozen time of year?  This is the time of year we are doing lots of paperwork.  Planning landowner meetings, scheduling hearings, holding hearings and planning for next years construction and repair season.  This is the time of year that most of our larger projects or repairs are usually put out for public bidding.  We will still have a few larger repairs that will be coming up for bid yet this year, 2021.  This is the time of year I usually start exploring to see if there is grant funding available, and if so, where can we concentrate some of those grant funds to support clean water efforts.                                           

One Watershed One Plan:

You may have heard me mention One Watershed One Plan before in one of my other blog posts.  Or, if you’re a clean water follower of other websites and media, you’ve probably heard or read about this plan before.

So, what is the One Watershed One Plan?  It’s a program that is being implemented and administered by the state Board of Water and Soil Resources, or BWSR.  The plan, in a nutshell is this, the state is hoping to combine state and local water management organizations to work together toward a more singular clean water targeting system.  The three major groups they are hoping to unite under this one umbrella include watersheds, counties and SWCD (Soil and Water Conservation District) groups.  The hope is, instead of all three groups acting as there own entities and having three different ways or mechanisms for spending funds, and making water quality repairs, that all three would have a combined plan to spend funds, plan projects and make water quality decisions together.  

This sounds like a great idea, right?  Well this comes with its pluses and minuses, as all great things do.  I won’t fill you full of my thoughts and opinions on this matter, but would rather let you read, watch and educate yourself by following the provided link to learn more about this subject.        https://bwsr.state.mn.us/one-watershed-one-plan?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery   
  videos =          https://bwsr.state.mn.us/one-watershed-one-plan-videos?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Project Updates:  

  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  The project has been awarded, construction to start spring 2021.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Hoping to close this project out very soon.
  • CD26 (McPherson Twp.) Nothing new from last month.  The general contractor for this repair will have a few small items to finish spring 2021.  Some of those items include final buffer area grading and seeding.
  • JTD83 (McPherson Twp.)  Nothing new from last month, but the general contractor has just a few small change orders to finish up spring 2021.  These items will be completed when weather is fit, spring 2021.

Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • JD39 (Sterling Twp.)  We did some investigative televising this last week in a section of dual wall plastic pipe that was installed spring of 2018.  A few areas of repair for spring 2021 where discovered, but not in the area of the newer tile.
  • JD28 (Decoria Twp.)  Marked out a few areas that we have planned for a contractor to make cross connections.  Given the current frozen situation, those cross connections will have to wait until spring thaw.jd28
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  In field inspection of possible drainage outlet issue.cd28
  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  General open ditch inspection, open ditch still had tile water running.

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