Demand for Engineering services in Northeast Minnesota's nine-county Area III Technical Service Area is exceeding the capacity to deliver the needed services. There are increased requests from Soil and Water Conservation Districts for engineering needed to design and install Best Management Practices in part due to requests related to Clean Water Fund projects. These funds will be used to hire an engineer, which will increase engineering capacity and result in the completion of at least five additional projects per year.
When completed, this Lake County-wide culvert inventory project will have multiple direct benefits to water quality protection, natural resource planning, and municipal asset protection. This inventory will be used to provide local and state authorities accurate information on the condition of road crossings, better calibrate hydrological modeling tools crucial to the inter-agency Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process, and assess how road crossings in Lake County are affecting the water and sediment transport capacity of our waterways.
St. Louis County's Comprehensive Water Management Plan Update 2010-2020 identifies providing financial assistance to qualifying homeowners to upgrade or replace failing septic systems as a Priority 2 action. Funds from the FY-16 Clean Water Fund Projects and Practices Grant will be used to provide funding to low-income homeowners to repair or replace SSTS identified as Imminent Threat to Public Health (ITPH) within the following watersheds: Lake Superior South, St.
This project will create a culvert inventory database for county and township roads in the southwest portion of St. Louis County that contains the St. Louis River watershed. Data will be used by the County Public Works Department to identify and prioritize stream crossings in need of replacement or increasing upstream storm water retention to reduce the potential for culvert failure during large runoff events, factoring in stream health (fish habitat and passage, sediment transport and hydrologic connection) while protecting infrastructure.