Sibley County FY 14 Surface Water Assessment Grant
The proposed project area covers roughly one hundred square miles within Sibley County, but also includes a small portion of Nicollet County where Judicial Ditch 1A runs into the south branch of the Rush River. One lake and seven streams are part of the proposed project monitoring sites. Of the seven stream locations, two are part of the High Island Creek Watershed, while the remaining five are part of the Rush River Watershed. The lone lake, Lake Washington, falls within the Bevens Creek Watershed. Both the High Island Creek and Rush River watersheds were part of earlier implementation projects, reaching back to the late 1990s, to reduce the amount of nutrients and pollutants from entering into their waterways. Water quality concerns include high levels of total suspended solids, total phosphorus, and nitrate/nitrite-N (NO2+NO3+N). Recently, both watersheds have sought to address the amount of fecal coliform bacteria currently found in the streams and rivers through separate grant programs. Both the High Creek and Rush River have sections listed on 303d Impaired Waters list, as does J.D. 1A (one of the proposed project monitoring locations). Lake Washington has been listed since 1998, initially for levels of mercury found in fish tissue, and most recently in 2008 for nutrient/eutrophication biological indicators.