The purpose of this project is to reduce phosphorus loading to Crystal Lake transported primarily through County Ditch 56. Crystal Lake is listed on MPCA's 303d listing for phosphorus impairment. Increased phosphorus levels have caused toxic algal blooms, reducing its appeal to recreationalists and economic draw for the City of Lake Crystal. This project will directly address phosphorus sources from agricultural land.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
The overall goal of this project is to perform water quality monitoring and load calculation duties to accomplish Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) monitoring efforts at the seven sites within the Redwood and Cottonwood River watersheds as well as the Minnesota River site near Morton. To accomplish this goal the requested funds will provide for technician’s time, mileage, lab costs, supplies, as well as equipment calibration and upkeep.
Nicollet County is located in south central Minnesota and is bordered on two sides by the Minnesota River. A line of forested bluffs separate the river valley from land that is relatively flat and historically used for agricultural purposes. Approximately 245,000 acres of the County are actively farmed. The 2012 impaired waters list for water bodies located in Nicollet County include the Minnesota River, Seven Mile Creek, Rogers Creek and tributaries to the Rush River.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
This project will collect water samples at seventeen monitoring locations ranging in size from 23,173 acres (7 Mile Creek) to over 9 million acres (Minnesota River at St. Peter) as a part of the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN). The Minnesota State University - Water Resources Center (WRC) has been directly involved with the program and is familiar with the streams and hydrology of the region. In addition to monitoring, the WRC will review, manage and submit the data in formats provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).