FAQs/Answers

 

Answers

  • What kinds of projects require a permit?
    Better check with the BRRWD if you plan to change/alter drainage patterns, including improving ditches (work that extends into the clay), changing culvert sizes/elevations, installing driveways/approaches, etc.
     
  • What kinds of project don’t require a permit?
    Go ahead and do normal ditch/culvert maintenance, but keep the work to the original installation specifications. When in doubt, please call and we’d be happy to discuss your project with you.
     
  • Why do I need a BRRWD permit?
    The BRRWD has jurisdiction over drainage activities in parts of Clay, Wilkin, Becker, and Otter Tail Counties. Our job is to oversee and coordinate drainage activities to make sure that your project does not impact other residents/landowners, and also to help landowners use sound water management practices to avoid erosion/siltation problems in our waterways/wetlands.
     
  • Is there a charge for a BRRWD permit?
    No
     
  • Do permits have an expiration date?
    Permits are good up to one year after the BRRWD approves the application. Check with the BRRWD office if you have not completed your project within that time frame. We are always willing to work with landowners regarding the successful completion of permitted projects.
     
  • What other agencies require permits?
    Agencies that also might be involved with permitting issues for projects could include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Army Corps of Engineers (COE), County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), County Water Planners, and Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) Administrators. Certain townships and counties have zoning regulations governing various types of activities.
     
  • What is a watershed?
    A watershed is all the land area that drains to a specific water resource, such as a lake or stream. Watersheds range in size from a few square miles to an entire continent. As rainwater and melting snow run downhill, they carry sediment and other materials into streams, lakes, and groundwater. Watersheds provide water for drinking, irrigation, streams, and activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. In addition, watersheds also provide food and shelter for wildlife.
     
  • What is a watershed district?
    Watershed districts are special purpose local units of government with taxing and limited regulatory authority. Water does not follow political boundaries; therefore the boundaries of a district follow the natural boundary of a watershed. A district is responsible for managing the water resources within its watershed.
     
  • What does a watershed district do? (Adapted from: Doug Thomas, BWSR)
    • Control or alleviate damage from flood waters
    • Regulate the flow of streams and conserve the streams’ water
    • Control or alleviate soil erosion and siltation of watercourses or water basins
    • Regulate improvements by riparian property owners of the beds, banks, and shores of lakes, streams, and wetlands for preservation and beneficial public use
    • Protect or enhance the water quality in watercourses or water basins; and
    • Provide for the protection of groundwater and regulate its use to preserve it for beneficial purposes
     
  • How are watershed districts governed?
    • Appointed board of managers (3-9)
         o Not a public officer, except SWCD supervisor
         o Voting resident of the District
         o Serve a 3 year term, no term limits, unless restricted by the county