An interagency workgroup is developing recommendations for best practices and policies for water reuse in Minnesota. Recommendations will include both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to successful implementation of water reuse. The workgroup will evaluate current regulations, practices, and barriers, and quantify and determine acceptable health risks associated with water reuse applications. The University of Minnesota is collecting and analyzing field data for use in targeting Minnesota-specific risks.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
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.
Groundwater sample collection and analysis will be conducted for contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) at large subsurface treatment systems (LSTS) and rapid infiltration basins (RIB), using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology. Results from the ELISA analysis will be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used to conduct follow-up investigations at a select number of these sites.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as a stressor has not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. MIDS offers guidelines, recommendations and tools that help low impact development practices be implemented more uniformly across Minnesota's landscape and provides guidance to effectively implement the concepts and practices of low impact development. Products include performance goals for new development, redevelopment and linear projects, a graphic user interface calculator and flexible treatment options for sites design.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. The consultant was hired to conduct research and design specifications for permeable pavement and turf.
The overall goal of this project is to further develop performance standards, design standards, or other tools to enable the implementation of low-impact development and other stormwater management techniques.
The objective of this project is to build on previous efforts aimed at determining the public health risk due to virus contamination in Minnesota groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health will examine the occurrence of viruses in non-disinfecting groundwater sources in Minnesota as well as evaluate the association between source water virus occurrence and community acute gastrointestinal illness.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
Staffing support to evaluate the performance of existing stormwater infiltration sites, as identified in the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project. Monitor the range of existing infiltration devices in Minnesota and compare to design criteria, maintenance records, and quantify year-round infiltration rates. Develop and refine pretreatment options and standards for municipal stormwater treatment.
This project will provide an interpretive assessment of nitrogen concentrations in Minnesota rivers and streams, including spatial and temporal trends based on historical data sets. The trends analyses will provide information useful for evaluating nitrogen reduction efforts in the past couple of decades.
The goal of this project is to update and revise the Twin Cities Metro Area (TCMA) Chloride Management Plan to a Statewide Chloride Management Plan (CMP). The Statewide CMP will provide stakeholders the information and tools necessary to improve and/or maintain water quality with respect to chloride.
The goal of this project will be to research and develop statewide winter maintenance best management practices (BMPs) for inclusion in the Statewide Chloride Management Plan and Winter Maintenance Assessment tool (WMAt). The WMAt is a necessary technical resource and planning tool for stakeholders and permittees to implement the chloride reduction strategies described in the Statewide Chloride Management Plan.
This project will conduct on-going sampling and lab analysis for suspended sediment concentration at select sites. It will also develop real-time continuous suspended sediment concentration measurements using turbidity and Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meter sensors, data analysis and draft United States Geological Survey (USGS) Scientific Investigations Report, and comparison of sampling and laboratory methods for total suspended solids and suspended sediment concentrations.
This project will result in updates to existing information and incorporation of new information into the Minnesota Stormwater Manual. The information is used by stormwater practitioners to implement the most effective and cost-efficient practices for managing stormwater runoff volume and pollutants, in addition to meeting regulatory requirement associated with stormwater permits.
This project will result in updates to existing information and incorporation of new information on active construction site erosion prevention and sediment control into the Minnesota Stormwater Manual. The information is used by stormwater practitioners to implement the most effective and cost-efficient practices for managing stormwater runoff volume and pollutants, and to meet regulatory requirements associated with stormwater permits.
Cognizant to the needs of the stormwater community, a group that has engaged in stormwater research at the University of Minnesota (UMN) has developed a research program for the biennium that addresses pressing needs: a stormwater research roadmap and framework for priority needs, research required to improve stormwater pond maintenance, and information transfer related to these needs.
This project will apply science to identify viable and priority wetland restorations and rehabilitations that will deliver sustainable water quality benefit, along with flood storage and habitat benefits. Decision tools will be developed to assist with selection of restoration projects.
This project will provide lab analyses and interpretation required for 2012 wild rice field survey. The 2012 lab analyses will be merged with the 2011 field survey data and determine what additional work, if any, is needed during the 2013 field season.
The MPCA is currently collecting additional information needed to evaluate the 10 mg/liter wild-rice-based sulfate standard and has received funding through legislation passed during the 2011 Special Session to implement a wild rice research plan and contract with scientific experts to further understand the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. The goal of this project is to determine responses of wild rice to sulfate and the products of geochemical transformations of sulfate.
The MDH Environmental Laboratory provides essential analyses of water for the MPCA Wild Rice Standards Study, which is gathering information about the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. For this study, the lab developed a ultra-sensitive test for hydrogen sulfide, which greatly facilitated the research. For this large study, the lab staff analyzed several thousand water and sediment samples from lakes, wetlands, rivers, rice paddies, experimental mesocosms, and hydroponic experiments.
The goal of this project is to maintain and make enhancements to the Winter Maintenance Assessment tool (WMAt), which is a necessary technical resource and planning tool for stakeholders and permittees to implement the chloride reduction strategies described in the Chloride Management Plan.