Drainage Management

Minnesota Buffer Law


Learn more about the Minnesota Buffer Law, how it is enforced and the help available for property owners through Blue Earth County by following this link: Blue Earth County and the Minnesota Buffer Law.

About the County's Drainage Ditches


County ditches were constructed to drain land and to collect water quickly and efficiently to provide better soil conditions and increase land available for the production of crops. Blue Earth County has over 100 ditches, with over 160 miles of open ditches and over 500 miles of tile systems. 

Approximately 50% of all the land in Blue Earth County drains to a county ditch. The remaining land drains to natural drainage systems such as rivers or streams.

Ditch documents and drainage system information can be found on the DrainageDB web-based portal that provides 24/7 online access to historical and present documents for the public to view. For further details visit the DrainageDB Information page.

Drainage Authority


Blue Earth County’s Drainage Authority is the County Board of Commissioners. Others involved with ditch proceedings include:

  • County Ditch Manager and Drainage Specialist 
  • County Attorney
  • Ditch owners’ attorneys
  • Engineers
  • Interested landowners
  • State and federal agencies
The County Board’s Drainage Committee includes two county commissioners, the County Administrator and the county-employed ditch manager.

Ditch Manager


As noted above, Blue Earth County employs full-time staff who is responsible for much of the day-to-day tasks associated with managing the County’s ditch system. The ditch manager and drainage specialist are part of the Property and Environmental Resources Department as they work closely with many of the other offices in the department to complete their work.

Annual activities related to the county’s ditches include:
  • Inspections of ditch systems
  • Repair and improvement projects
  • Erosion control
If you have questions about Blue Earth County’s ditches, please contact the Property and Environmental Resources Department at (507) 304-4251 or send an email.

Minnesota's Clean Water Legacy Funds


 Minnesota Legacy Logo Blue Earth County's Drainage Authority partners with the State of Minnesota and has received grants through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to improve water quality.

For more information on the amendment, click here. Additional information is available here.