Sand Hill River Erosion Area
(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)
Each sediment basin will reduce on average 18.4 tons of sediment and 21.5 pounds of phosphorus per year from entering the Sand Hill River.
Final pollution reduction estimates: 2892.93 TONS/YR SOIL (EST. SAVINGS), 1923.21 TONS/YR SEDIMENT (TSS), and 2047.74 LBS/YR
PHOSPHORUS (EST. REDUCTION).
The East Polk Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) identified the Sand Hill Watershed as a priority area because of soil loss associated with steep slopes common in the area. The SWCD is working cooperatively with the Sand Hill Watershed District to keep soil from eroding, and to capture it where it does erode. The SWCD provides technical design services and receives funding from the Sand Hill Watershed District to install conservation practice such as sediment basins. However, high landowner interest has exceeded local funds so additional funding was sought through the Clean Water Fund.
Sediment basins are earth embankments designed to keep soil on the ground, not in rivers and streams. Sediment basins also act as temporary storage areas for rainwater. Each sediment basin will reduce on average 18.4 tons of sediment and 21.5 pounds of phosphorus per year from entering the Sand Hill River. Portions of the Sand Hill River have been listed as impaired due to turbidity. Water quality is also a concern for fish habitat in the lower reaches of the Sand Hill River.
The Clean Water Fund grant is accelerating efforts to lower the amount of sediment and phosphorus entering the Sand Hill River. Sites have been identified with nine landowners signed-up for surveys and construction plans for 29 sediment basins. Construction will occur throughout the summer and fall of 2011.