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Posted on October 9, 2017 at 5:26 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 10/09/2017
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
No upcoming meetings or hearings.
Urban Sprawl and Sediment Issues:
read a few interesting articles on sediment and nutrient issues in urban
areas. The two articles I read were
very local and spoke about issues the City of Mankato is having with the
additional nutrients they are finding in drinking water sources.
secret that we have issues with the quality of water in our lakes and
rivers in southern Minnesota. As the
borders between town and farm seem to shrink, the issues of sediment and water
quality seem to increase, according to articles and others studies.
The City of Mankato plans on asking the state
for $7 million in bonding money for water quality
improvements. Much of that money is
planned to go towards wetland restoration projects for the southern part of
Mankato. These wetlands are an attempt
to slow the flow of storm water and give the wetlands time to filter the
sediment and nutrients out. Mankato is dealing with increasing issues of phosphorus
and nitrates, not to mention hundreds of thousands dollars in recent history spent on
sediment clean out of storm surge ponds.
There is some push back from the state - especially from one state
representative, Rick Hansen, from the St. Paul area.
He believes that if they help fund Mankato with their water quality
problems, that the state would never be able to say no to anyone asking for
funding with their water problems.
Representative Hansen believes in a “polluter pay” model. He believes there should be taxes placed on
fertilizer to cover the bonding costs for these water quality issues around the
state. Some lawmakers feel it is the
farmer's responsibility to pay for the tax on fertilizer because they’re the
ones using it.
Blue Earth County, we are working with the cities in our county and we all have been doing a
fairly good job with water quality improvement.
Sure, there’s room for improvement, but as technology progresses and
also the awareness of just how fragile our waters are in Minnesota, things
It’s easy to point the
finger and blame one side or the other whether it be the urban influences or the farm. Many studies have shown that there are many
nutrients and pollutants that make their way from city storm drains. In town, we fertilizer our lawns, ball fields
and use lots of salt and ice melts during the winter. So, to say it’s just a
farm runoff issue is not totally fair.
The farm and urban communities can work together to solve the water quality issues at hand. One good example of such cooperation between
city and farm is the Crystal Watershed Project in Lake Crystal.
For more information on these articles, click
on the links: Minnesota River health, MPR, KEYC Water Quality Bond Request.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 2 – October 6:
Please 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.
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.
Drainage Management Specialist