Most of Hubbard, Todd and Wadena Counties' irrigated acreage consists of highly permeable, low water holding capacity, sandy textured soils overlying shallow and buried sand and gravel aquifers. These aquifers are very susceptible to non-point water quality degradation from land use practices.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with the Aitkin County Lakes and Rivers Association, Lake Associations, as well as other eligible community partners to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff and keep water on the land. A mini-grant program to install rain gardens and native vegetation buffers along shorelines of lakes with a completed "Lake Assessment" supported by previous BWSR funding or a TMDL Implementation Plan will be implemented.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 12 local governments with funds.
Pine Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with the City of Sturgeon Lake to seal over 50% of the unused wells in the city limits. The City of Sturgeon Lake recently installed a municipal water supply system, and completed a Minnesota Department of Health approved Wellhead Protection Plan. Residents have connected to the new public water supply system and need to seal their unused wells.
These projects will improve water quality by reducing the sediment and phosphorus delivery to the Kettle and St. Croix River Watersheds and engage and educate municipalities and the public regarding the water quality benefits of shoreline buffers and rain gardens. Phosphorus and sediment delivery to the Kettle River from stormwater runoff at Robinson Park in the City of Sandstone will be reduced by the establishment of a native buffer and repair of the river bank by installing soil wraps implanted with deep rooted native species.
The Fairview Avenue storm sewer system is under capacity and stormwater runoff reaches the pipe faster than the pipes can convey the water downstream. This causes the system to surcharge, causing arterial street flooding, local street flooding, inundation of open spaces, as well as private property damage. This storm sewer system is directly connected to several significant regional water bodies.
Lambert Creek is wholly within the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization (VLAWMO) and is located in northeastern Ramsey County. Lambert Creek is surrounded by mainly residential land use and flows through three communities before discharging into East Vadnais Lake, which is the final impoundment reservoir containing the water supply that the Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) treats and then distributes to thirteen municipalities including the city of St. Paul.
Turbidity and E.coli impairments characterize the Clearwater River Watershed and its sub-watersheds. Focused protective efforts in this watershed have helped, but more work is vitally needed to further improve the quality of water. Several recent studies on the Clearwater River watershed and its sub-watersheds, Lost River and Silver Creek will be used to direct the work.
Ramsey County has over 3,500 acres tied to faith based organizations and schools. On average, these properties contribute one billion gallons of stormwater runoff, 3,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 1,000 tons of sediment to local water bodies. The Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) in partnership with local property owners and watershed districts/water management organizations will install 6-12 stormwater projects that will help protect and improve water quality of surrounding lakes.
The Redwood and Cottonwood River Watersheds have been assessed and many reaches have been impaired for turbidity, bacteria, and low dissolved oxygen. This project will accelerate conservation efforts to reduce overland runoff sediment, bacteria, and nutrient loadings contributing to water quality impairments in targeted subwatersheds.
The Redwood River and Cottonwood River watersheds encompass approximately 2,020 square miles of southwestern Minnesota in the Minnesota River Basin. Land use in these watersheds is mostly agricultural and area geology makes them prone to erosion. Surface water issues within the two watersheds are a concern of local leaders. The counties and Soil and Water Conservation District leaders formed the Redwood Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) Joint Powers Board in 1983 to address sedimentation, water quality and quantity, and erosion issues.
This area of the Minnesota River Basin has been identified as contributing significant amounts of sediment to the watershed. The primary cause of the sediment is from gullies and ravines. This project by the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) continues efforts begun with FY2011 Clean Water Funds. Using data collected through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and LiDAR, GERBA will install best management practices to address severe ravines and gullies in targeted specific locations.
Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) is a largely developed area of the Twin Cities with an average impervious surface area of 34%. Faith organizations often have large impervious surface areas with little to no stormwater treatment on site. The goal of this project is to collaborate with faith organizations in high priority areas to implement stormwater volume reduction retrofit projects. High priority areas are defined as areas with limited to no stormwater treatment before reaching a water body and/or areas that drain to an impaired water.