MDA Conservation Drainage

MDA Conservation Drainage

Mower County, MN

In conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Nature Conservancy, and Mower County, two drainage surge basins were designed. These surge basins were constructed utilizing areas currently not tilled. Existing tile flow and overland flow was diverted into each basin to provide stormwater storage and treatment for agricultural runoff.

Each basin utilizes control structures to allow the water levels to fluctuate throughout the year and to provide for testing of flow rate, sediment load, and nutrient load at the outlet of each basin. Woodchip bioreactors were also constructed to provide additional treatment while water is stored in the basin. Ongoing research by the MDA on these basins will provide detailed information on how small surge basins can improve water quality in an agricultural watershed.


  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Nature Conservancy, and Mower County



  • 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