Blue Earth County Ditch No. 57

Blue Earth County Ditch No. 57


6,000 Acres

This project serves as a model for drainage projects across the state and represents a fundamental shift in the way rural drainage systems interact with the landscape. This community-based water quality and treatment demonstration project showcases how landowners, local government and state agencies can develop a watershed approach to improving water quality and replacing outdated drainage systems.
Recognized as the first public multi-purpose drainage project in Minnesota, it received a 2012 American Council of Engineering Companies Award of Excellence. Unique elements of this project included a storage basin, native grass buffers, two stage ditch, in channel sediment storage, rate control weir and continual flow monitoring.

The preliminary phase of the project investigated various alternatives for improving runoff quality for the watershed. Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of the watershed was performed to evaluate the impact of the addition of surge basins, in-channel treatment, native grass buffer strips, and a rate control weir at the outlet of the ditch.
Assistance with securing State funding through the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) program, helped provide nine monitoring stations throughout the system that will record flow and water quality data.


  • Agricultural Treatment Basins

  • Animal Feedlots

  • Blue Earth County Ditch No. 25

  • Blue Earth County Ditch No. 57

  • Blue Earth County Ditch No. 77

  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

  • Drainage District No. 15

  • Drainage District No. 65

  • Ducks Unlimited

  • Interstate Mills

  • Judicial Ditch No. 38 Improvement

  • MDA Conservation Drainage

  • Nagel Drainage District

  • Poultry Laying Facility

  • Turkey Feeding Operation