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Posted on August 21, 2017 at 3:04 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 8/14/2017
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or
State Water Quality Town Hall
Thursday, August 17, 2017
See below for more details.
CD56 (Garden City Twp.) Tree and brush removal slowed down last week, but crews stayed
busy with other tasks along the open ditch.
The open ditch cleaning was still going on last week with the crew up
to about the Lincoln Township Road 499th Avenue crossing. This crossing will be getting a new culvert
installed - a 66 inch RCP (reinforced concrete pipe) that will replace the
current metal pipe. Crews that were
not removing trees and brush stayed busy with installing WASCOB’s (water and
sediment control basins) and repairing tile outlet pipes to the open
ditch. Some seeding of the buffer area
has occurred, mostly in the first mile and a half south of the city of Lake
Crystal. There still is some clean-up
work needed in most areas and possibly some more tree removal in town (Lake
JD09 (LeRay Twp.) This project is not formally going yet, but the improvement
project for this system is open for public bidding. For more details contact, Kyle Sammons at
JD34 (LeRay Twp.) This improvement project will be up for public bid yet this week
as I’m told, so also look for that.
For more details, contact Kyle Sammons at ISG 507-387-6651.
25 BY 25:
Just a quick update for those that
are planning on attending this water quality workshop put on by the state of
Minnesota. I mentioned a couple
weeks ago that the date for this meeting was Wednesday August 16, from
6:30 – 8:30. Location is the
Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University Mankato.
Tile and Nitrates:
Many areas of southern Minnesota have
tile in their agricultural production fields.
Even many towns and cities utilize public ditch systems for their
storm sewer outlets. Many times this
water is brought into the drainage system completely untreated. I have seen many studies showing that
agricultural drainage and public utility drainage both bring their fair share
of unwanted nutrients and sediment into lakes and public ditch systems.
Locally water quality issues are a big concern with Crystal Lake located
in Lake Crystal and most recently there is a lot of attention being given to
the deteriorating water quality of Lake Washington in LeSueur County.
I bring these subjects up because I was reading an interesting article on
Nitrogen and tile, with tile being a major transportation route for
Nitrate Nitrogen. Nitrogen has
multiple forms. The forms that are
readily plant food available are the ones that are most susceptible to moving
with the movement of water. Nitrate
Nitrogen is the big concern for water quality. Nitrate is most susceptible to moving
because it possess negatively charged ions that attach themselves to
positively charged water molecules.
For Minnesotans that farm, tile is a
common part of the farm, just like any other piece of machinery. Tile has become very beneficial to farming
practices as it allows us in the upper midwest to be able to plant earlier
and farm areas we couldn’t without drainage.
It has also allowed us to plant later maturity varieties of corn and
soybeans. The bad part of all the tile
is the Nitrates that move with the water in the tile. Tile carries almost four times more
Nitrates than surface runoff. For
every one inch of water in tile flow, five pounds per acre of Nitrogen
I’ve wrote about cover crops in the
past and other BMP’s (best management practices). BMP’s have been
gaining popularity quickly. We, in
Blue Earth County Drainage, are always looking for new innovative ways
to ensure water quality. We
work with an engineering firm that also has a common value for water
quality. Every time we have an
improvement or repair project that involves engineering, we try to encourage
BMP’s into the repair or improvement project.
We have been very successful in the last couple years getting the
general public to participate in involving BMP’s in Public Drainage. Many times we are able to get some sort of
outside funding whether it be grant money or help from our local friends at
our SWCD office. We have a few
projects happening just this year that are looking at the possibility of
adding woodchip bioreactors as well as water storage areas to aid in
cleaning up sediment and nutrients in the water.
Buffers, wetlands, woodchip bioreactors, and now metal byproduct bioreactors
for filtering Phosphorus out of tile water, are all tools for making a change
in water quality. Currently on a
project on CD56, near Lake Crystal, we are installing 12 WASCOB’s and other
alternative intake areas along the open ditch. Much of the funding for this is coming from
programs with the help of our local SWCD.
This is one of the projects that may also include installation of
a woodchip bioreactor and some off channel storage of water. Photos below are examples of different
water quality BMP’s we’ve installed.
This was a very interesting
quick-read article from Ag Water Exchange.
Ag Water Exchange has many interesting articles and ideas. Click on link to read
the full article or to browse other interesting articles.
The first two pictures show
in-channel storage examples. The third photo is the off-channel storage
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of
August 7 – August 11:
CD56 (Garden City & Lincoln Twp.)
I like to randomly stop by the active
construction site a few times a week to keep up with progress and also to
address concerns on the site.
JD38 (Shelby Twp.) Checked in on the newly installed outlet structure to the
wetland. We added a few additional
“weep holes” to the new intake structure.
CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) Very little remains with this project, as far as things to
finish. We still have to install a
concrete weir structure on the southerly end of the open ditch and do some
final hydro seeding of the open ditch banks.
We’re getting closer all the time to finishing this project up. We also still need to televise the new tile
line before signing off on this project.
JD45 (Mapleton Twp.) Still waiting on parts and pieces to get this repair project
call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot
of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage
department. We will do our absolute
best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.
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.
Drainage Management Specialist