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Posted on August 27, 2018 at 5:43 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 8/27/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
Last week was a busy week and they will only get busier. We are trying to push to get all our projects and repairs finished yet this year. Currently we have two improvement projects and two major repairs, all to finish yet this year.
Last week kept me busy with some additional repairs that are still coming in. The majority of them are sink-hole issues on portions of county tile lines. As some growers have been out lately spraying their soybeans for bugs, there has been an increase on the number of repair calls. This is good on my end as I can plan ahead and get work lined up for contractors to get done as soon as harvest is finished on that piece of land.
We are considering changing how we go about spraying our open ditches. I met with a local contractor last week to brainstorm some ideas to try to help our growing concerns with out-of-control weeds. We have been trying out some areas this year of mowing first and then coming back to spray herbicide to control the remaining weeds. I think this will help considerably in the fight to control weeds in the buffer and ditch bank areas.
As most of us know by now, Wild Cucumber is a new weed that is rapidly taking over almost everywhere you look. This is an invasive species that made its way across Minnesota in a hurry. The good news is that it is not resistant to our current herbicide treatments and we can kill it.
I still plan on doing the three spray zones of the county, but we'll just add mowing as part of the plan along with the herbicide program. The mowing in the long-run should actually save us money with potentially less spraying for trees/shrubs and weeds. Like I’ve said before, drainage is a constant and evolving challenge, there are many aspects to it and I enjoy the challenge of all of it.
We had the opportunity last week to check out a neighboring couny's improvement project involving plowing in HDPE dual wall pipe and one really cool machine. They said that when everything is up and running well, they can plow in almost 1,300 linear feet a day of up to 24-inch dual wall pipe. The traditional way before was to open trench dig in tile like this.
There are some limitations to using a tile plow for dual wall pipe which include depth and size of pipe. There are some applications that I could see us possible considering using this install method for some our projects. The interesting part about the machine is that it can lay ten-foot sticks of dual wall pipe, push them together and bed the pipe in sand with compaction. This machine is pretty amazing for what it does and weights around 50 tons.
The main attraction for the contractors that use this type of technology is the added safety and precision. There’s no open trench for a guy to be walking around in and the accuracy of the pipe being laid is within centimeters. The cost to use this machine isn’t cheap or even necessarily cheaper than digging open trench, but the safety and accuracy seem to offset this for contractors wanting to use it. Check out the pictures of this machine. Standing next to it makes a person feel very small.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of August 20 – August 24:
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