Protecting Ramsey County's Drinking Water Supply Management Areas
The glacial geology of Ramsey County includes many layers of impermeable and semi-permeable material that can protect aquifers from contaminated waters. Many municipal public supply wells exist to draw water from these aquifers to supply thousands of consumers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, abandoned/unused wells also penetrate the protective layers of glacial material and can "short-circuit" the natural protection our glacial geology can provide allowing unfettered movement of contamination to even deeper aquifers below the ground. These abandoned/unused wells are a significant threat to our drinking water quality especially within the recharge zones of these public water supply wells.
With a grant from the Clean Water Fund the Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) will implement a well sealing cost-share program targeted to drinking water supply management areas and well-head protection areas within municipal water supplies. Sealing of these wells will prevent surface water from flowing into deep aquifers directly. Through this grant the RCD will provide cost share to homeowners to help in the cost of sealing their abandoned/unused wells.
(c) $3,000,000 the first year and $3,000,000 the second year are for nonpoint source pollution reduction and restoration grants to watershed districts, watershed management organizations, counties, and soil and water conservation districts for grants in addition to grants available under paragraphs (a) and (b) to keep water on the land and to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams, and to protect groundwater and drinking water. The projects must be of long-lasting public benefit, include a local match, and be consistent with TMDL implementation plans or local water management plans. Up to five percent may be used for administering the grants (2011 - Clean Water Assistance)
The Ramsey Conservation District was able to seal 163 wells with 70% of the wells located in Drinking Water Supply Management Areas.