Agricultural and Urban Runoff Water Quality Treatment Analysis

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Blue Earth County Drainage Authority
Recipient Type
Local/Regional Government
In Progress
Start Date
July 2010
End Date
June 2015
Counties Affected
Blue Earth
Blue Earth
Project Overview

This project is a model for future drainage projects across the state and represents a fundamental shift in the way rural drainage systems interact with the landscape. This is a community-based water quality and treatment demonstration project in which landowners, local government, and state agencies have developed a watershed approach to improving water quality and replacing outdated drainage systems. The project will improve water quality, improve wildlife habitat, and develop a process for future projects by constructing water quality features within the 6,000 acre watershed. The project focuses on Blue Earth County Ditch 57, part of the Le Sueur River Minor Watershed of the Minnesota River Basin. This watershed includes runoff from agricultural as well as urban sources.

ENRTF funding will provide assistance to construct two surge basins, in-channel treatment, native grass buffer strips, and a rate control weir at the outlet of the ditch. Nine monitoring stations are also proposed that will record flow and water quality data for three years. In addition, this project will provide documentation on how successful water quality treatments can be incorporated into Drainage Law. Once monitoring is completed, public education via site visits, presentations, and information posted to web sites will be provided to describe the effect of project features on water quality and how these features can be incorporated into other drainage projects.

Project Details
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2010, Chp. 362, Sec. 2, Subd. 05d
Appropriation Language

$485,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for an agreement with the Blue Earth County Drainage Authority to reduce soil erosion, peak water flows, and nutrient loading through a demonstration model evaluating storage and treatment options in drainage systems in order to improve water quality. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2014, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Work Plan" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Work Plan" under "Project Details".

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Blue Earth County Drainage Authority
Street Address
410 Jackson St
Zip Code
(507) 304-4253
Administered By
Administered by

520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

651- 296-3767