A direct appropriation of $400,000 in FY 2010 and $600,000 in FY2011 for the Anoka Conservation District (ACD) is for the metropolitan landscape restoration program for water quality and improvement projects in the seven-county metro area.
The Washington Conservation District (WCD), Washington County, and South Washington Watershed District (SWWD) are partnering to retrofit water quality improvement practices at the Oakdale Library. The goal is clean water and the project will work toward the 101 pound phosphorus load reduction target for Armstrong Lake identified in the SWWD Watershed Plan. The project will also benefit Wilmes Lake, which is downstream from Armstrong and is impaired by excess nutrients.
Brown's Creek is the namesake of Brown's Creek Watershed District (BCWD) and a designated metro trout stream. But in recent years the stream hasn't been home to as many trout and cold-water insects as we would hope. The creek is too warm and too muddy.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
This project Phase will collect data, background information, and watershed characteristics within the Red Lake River watershed. This information will be documented within the framework of early draft TMDL Reports (with background information, but no load calculations) for impaired reaches within this watershed and early draft protection plans for the areas in the watershed that are not currently impaired.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Barr Engineering Company developed maps and supporting information to characterize the relationship between surface waters and groundwater, identifying surface waters most likely to be impacted by groundwater withdrawals in the region. This project also provided guidance on effective resource monitoring strategies and costs for each type of surface water feature.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
The Thief River is the source of drinking water for the City of Thief River Falls. The river's other designated uses also include recreation and aquatic life. Water quality monitoring conducted by local agencies discovered that the Thief River is not meeting state water quality standards for both turbidity (muddiness) and dissolved oxygen. Each year, approximately 12,376 tons of sediment is deposited into the Thief River Falls reservoir by the Thief River. That is the equivalent of over 1,200 dump trucks full of dirt.
In the early 1900s, a joint State and County drainage project constructed a 1 mile outlet channel to Grand Marais Creek to provide a shorter outlet to the Red River and effectively abandoned the lower 6 miles of the natural channel. In recent times, the ditch has eroded from its original shape to a channel of steep gradients and unstable banks. This has resulted in head cutting of the channel and nearly continuous channel erosion and bank sloughing with the effect of depositing up to an estimated annual average of 700 tons of sediment into the Red River.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey collected information and conducted an assessment of the hydraulic properties and chemistry of selected aquifers in the metro area. This project greatly improves the accessibility of existing data, which were previously available only in scattered paper reports. A robust database of groundwater age, aquifer hydraulic conductivity and groundwater chemistry data was developed to make the information easily accessible to water resource managers.
In 2005, Metropolitan Council was directed to carry out regional water supply planning activities under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.1565. Working closely with the region's many water supply stakeholders and under the guidance of a metropolitan area water supply advisory committee, Metropolitan Council developed and adopted a metropolitan area master water supply plan (master plan) in 2010. The plan provides a framework for water supply planning and identifies actions needed to achieve the goal of ensuring sustainable water supplies across the region.
Lily Lake, in Stillwater, is a popular recreational spot for residents with its swimming beach, fishing pier, and canoe access. Lily Lake is impaired by excess nutrients, and restoring its water quality is a priority for the community.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey evaluated the vulnerability of glacial aquifers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The project improved upon previous vulnerability assessments by incorporating a substantial amount of new aquifer property information and blending methods previously used by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Natural Resources. The result is a consistent vulnerability assessment across the metropolitan area based on the most up-to-date information available.
This project will replace a conventional 32 foot wide neighborhood street with a narrowed 22 -24 foot wide street that will include rain gardens, sidewalk, and boulevard trees. North St. Paul is using the term Living Streets to describe a new type of street that will eventually replace most of the city's existing streets. Living streets are narrower and have less pavement than existing streets. Reducing the width of existing streets reduces construction costs and assessments to residents. It allows room for the installation of rainwater gardens to treat stormwater.
This project will assist farmers across Southeast Minnesota by providing guidance on management of nutrient sources including livestock manure, commercial fertilizers, and legumes. This project is important because excess nutrients and bacteria are causing negative impacts to the quality of waters. Two Nutrient Management Specialists will work one-on-one with farmers to develop 70 plans each year. Over time, it is anticipated that the number of new nutrient management plans will decrease as acres with plans increase.
Water quality in Powers Lake is declining. Water monitoring professionals from the Washington Conservation District (WCD), funded by the South Washington Watershed District (SWWD), have determined that average annual phosphorus concentrations are increasing in the lake. Higher phosphorus concentrations lead to more frequent algae blooms and reduced water clarity.Powers Lake is at risk mainly due to increased urbanization within its watershed (the land area that drains to the lake).
The goal of this project is to evaluate projected water demand, groundwater contamination and potential natural resource impacts in southern Washington County to ensure water supplies are developed sustainably. An important part of this project involves working with stakeholders to identify common goals and objectives, as well as ways to enhance coordination amongst water suppliers and water resource managers.
Imminent Health Threat (IHT) systems are those that are discharging improperly treated human waste onto the ground surface or into surface waters. In addition to the potential water quality impacts, untreated sewage has the potential to introduce bacteria and viruses into the environment. When IHT systems are identified, county or city staff assist the homeowners through the process required to bring their systems into compliance with the septic ordinance.
Successful long-term treatment of sewage depends on a system capable of providing adequate treatment and effective on-going operation and maintenance. Clean Water Fund Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) Program Enhancement and Inventory funds are used by counties to strengthen programs dedicated to SSTS ordinance management and enforcement. These funds are used for a variety of tasks required to successfully implement a local SSTS program including inventories, enforcement, and databases to insure SSTS maintenance reporting programs.
The State of Minnesota, Washington County and Carpenter Foundation have successfully partnered to protect an area along the St. Croix River from development in perpetuity with placement of an 85-acre conservation easement on the Carpenter Foundation's property located in Denmark Township.