Farmers, lake residents anticipate improved drainage, water quality

Landowner Craig Brose, right, and Wright SWCD wetland resource conservationist Andrew Grean talked about the pond that straddles land owned by Brose and a neighbor. It’s among the best management practices within the 20,000-acre Wright County Ditch 10 drainage area designed to alleviate flooding within the ditch system and decrease downstream nutrient- and sediment-loading. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
A lateral of County Ditch 10 is seen from the highway in Victor Township. Benefited landowners combined share of the pond project will total about $180,000.

“Over time, without maintenance their capacity to drain water off those lands is reduced. So they’re over-burdened and under-sized. I think that’s a big issue with County Ditch 10,” said Matt Detjen, Wright County agriculture and drainage supervisor.

“If there’s momentum to do repairs and invest in cleaning the ditch, can it be done in a way that it not only serves the benefited landowners but can also address some of those water-quality issues?” said Wright SWCD wetland specialist Andrew Grean.

Wright County Ditch 10 enters Ann Lake a few miles east of the project site in Victor Township. The pond will treat water before it enters the lake, which is impaired for aquatic recreation because of excess nutrients.
Craig Brose said his great-great grandfather was among those who petitioned in 1901 for the ditch to be built.
A side inlet enters the pond from the field. The pond intercepts a 2,10-acre drainage area from a lateral of Wright County Ditch 10 in Victor Township.
Dean Aurich of Waverly fishes Aug. 5 on Ann Lake in Wright County.

“We’re hoping it results in less pollutants coming into Lake Ann — less sediment,” said Gerry McMillan, Lake Ann Improvement Association past president. “(County Ditch 10) drains a very large watershed, so when there’s a big rain event, we get a lot of water and a lot of sediment into the lake.”

Swamp milkweed grows along Wright County Ditch 10 near its outlet into Ann Lake.

“Drainage and water quality — we need both of them, and we need that farmer buy-in,” Borrell said.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. www.bwsr.state.mn.us

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