The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
With over 500 public water lakes in Becker County, we are blessed with abundant and diverse lake resources that, like those of much of lake country, are at risk of degradation due to increasing development pressures, redevelopment of non-conforming lots, rising stormwater runoff and land use changes within their watersheds.
The Chain of Lakes Targeted Reduction project will utilize Clean Water Funds to address bank erosion and install vegetated buffers along tributaries to the Eden Valley Chain of Lakes using the SRWD's incentivized Hayed Buffer Program. The Eden Valley Chain of Lakes (Vails Lake, Eden Lake and North Browns Lake) drain into the main segment of the Sauk River Chain of Lakes (SRCL) from the south. Impaired for excessive nutrients, this southern series of lakes is influenced by inflows from private ditches and perennial and intermittent streams.
Crow Wing County, in cooperation with the municipalities within the County, plans to continue its successful well sealing program that pays 50% of the cost to seal unused/abandoned wells up to a maximum of $1000 per well. The amount of funding requested is $31,000 which is estimated to allow for the sealing of 80-100 wells. From 2012 to 2015, Crow Wing County sealed 65 wells as part of an earlier MDH well sealing grant from the Clean Water Fund. Priority will be given to wells located in or near existing wellhead protection areas.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
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 primary goal of this project is to partner with stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report to be used on the local level. Achieving this goal will require sound working relationships between local government units (LGUs), watershed citizens, and state and federal government. Gathering input from these groups will be critical when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) drafts a WRAPS Report that can be utilized by local decision-makers.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
The project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at one subwatershed site, one basin site, and one major watershed site in 2016 and 2017 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
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.
An effective regulatory program is key to the successful implementation of local land use and water management plans. Yet, county, watershed, and other state, tribal, and local agencies charged with enforcement and permit review often work in silos and infrequently coordinate with each other or share information. This leads to higher enforcement costs, conflicts between agencies, redundancy of inspections, property owner frustration, and reinforces negative stereotypes of regulatory agencies.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
Stearns County Ditch 26 (CD 26) is a 20 mile channelized section of Getchell Creek, a primary tributary to the Sauk River that is impaired for turbidity, E.coli and aquatic macroinvertebrate bio-assessment. The Stearns County Ditch 26 Drainage Management Project will address the stormwater runoff concerns identified within this public drainage system. Alternative intake structures to manage nutrients and mitigative measures will be taken to retain water on the upland properties and minimize flow rate and velocity.
The proposed work will be the fifth septic inventory effort conducted by Todd County and will include eight lakes, 431 parcels, and 277 established addresses. Three of the lakes - Cedar, Long Higgens, and Pauley are located in the Sauk River Watershed District's Sauk Lake Management Unit which is a high priority for improvement. These are the last three lakes of any size to be completed in the Sauk River Watershed portion of Todd County. Nitrogen and phosphorus levels are an issue through the watershed and this management unit in particular.
This project will extend the simulation period for the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Crow Wing, Redeye, Long Prairie, Sartell, Sauk, St. Cloud, and Crow watersheds, and review and comment on the calibration.