The Accelerated Water Quality Project Implementation Program will increase the connection between landowners, local government units and the landscape to accelerate efforts addressing non-point source loading to surface waters throughout the Red River Valley Conservation Service Area.
Working with the Metropolitan Council, the University of Minnesota - Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is investigating the opportunity for water conservation by private industrial water users across the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Private industrial water users are defined as industries that use private wells for their water supply. This work is determining factors that encourage or create barriers for implementation of identified industrial water conservation opportunities.
This project will focus, on a sub-regional scale, on water quality improvements targeted at concentrated runoff flows generated from upstream, developed portions of the City of Forest Lake. This project will work to modify an existing wetland complex located in publicly owned Bixby Park of Forest Lake to increase water quality treatment potential and storage capacity. The project will also incorporate an innovative iron-enhanced sand filter which will remove dissolved phosphorus, resulting in a 206 pound/year reduction of phosphorous and a 27 tons/year removal of sediment.
Brown's Creek is one of the few remaining cold water fisheries in the Metropolitan Area; however, it is impaired due to high suspended solids and high water temperatures. To understand the extensive and complex in-stream temperature and local climate data already collected by the Brown's Creek Watershed District, this grant will facilitate the development of a thermal model to determine thermal sources and cost-effective management projects and practices to reduce thermal loading to Brown's Creek.
The Watershed District is partnering with the City of Stillwater to reduce sediment and thermal loading to Brown's Creek from existing impervious gravel parking lot and paved roads to achieve Total Maximum Daily Load water quality goals in this reach of Brown's Creek.
This project will implement watershed load reduction practices to restore the top priority water body in the Carnelian Marine St. Croix Watershed District in northeast Washington County. Recently completed prioritization and targeting efforts have identified several Best Management Practice opportunities around goose Lake, the number one priority for implementation practices.
A cooperative study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Health to assess groundwater and surface-water interactions in lakes in the northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA), including White Bear Lake. An important product of the study was the creation of a groundwater-flow model focused on the northeast TCMA. The groundwater flow model is available for future use to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals on lake levels as well as to describe other groundwater and surface-water interactions.
The City of Forest Lake will install four biofiltration basins and a wet sedimentation pond to treat stormwater prior to discharge into Clear Lake. Clear Lake is identified as a priority lake within the Rice Creek Watershed District's (RCWD) Watershed Management Plan and does not meet the nutrient goals established by the RCWD. Mid-summer algae blooms are common and occasionally severe enough to impact recreation.
The overall goal is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study that will address water quality impairments and maintain or improve water quality throughout the Clearwater River watershed. The study will identify sources of pollutants to the streams and lakes, allocate pollution reduction goals, and prioritize and identify implementation strategies to maintain or improve water quality in key lakes and streams in the watershed.
The Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (District) has determined that large impervious sites (like churches, commercial sites, and schools) are more economical for stormwater management retrofit projects than distributed small projects along roadways. The District began assessing church sites for retrofit opportunities in 2013 and will continue this effort in 2014. Church congregations have been receptive to partnering with the watershed district.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Clean Water Fund appropriation identified the northeast metro as an area where potential solutions are needed to address emerging water supply issues. The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with S.E.H. consultants, evaluated water supply approaches to serve the northeastern part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. A subregional study areas was selected based on the indication of potential problems with the long-term sustainability of current water supplies, as well as expressed interest by community stakeholders.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Clean Water Fund appropriation identified the northeast metro as an area where potential solutions are needed to address emerging water supply issues. Three projects are underway to identify the advantages and disadvantages of combining water supply systems, using new water supply sources such as treated water from Saint Paul Regional Water Services or raw water from the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers, and optimizing groundwater pumping to protect water levels in White Bear Lake and other lakes across the northeast metro.
The Washington Conservation District (WCD) will use this program to engage homeowner associations (HOAs) within Washington County. The project will identify methods and opportunities for HOAs to commit to clean water management practices and prioritize stormwater retrofit projects within partnering HOAs. Project goals include engaging at least 20 HOAs within the county and conducting 2-3 focus group sessions with property management companies and HOAs to identify opportunities for and barriers to adoption of clean water practices.
Once known for its clean water, fertile soil, and healthy habitat, in more recent times the Heron Lake Watershed in southwestern Minnesota has been heavily impacted by pollution from intensive agriculture, feedlots, non-compliant septic systems, and urban stormwater runoff. The Heron Lake Watershed District is using this appropriation for public outreach and installation and monitoring of water quality improvement projects aimed at reducing sediment and nutrient loading for the benefit of public health, recreation, and wildlife habitat.
The Twin Cities metropolitan area has a rich history and connection with its waters. In an effort to keep surface waters clean, a wide variety of stormwater practices have been developed and installed throughout the metro in recent years. Many of these, such as rain gardens and infiltration basins and trenches, are intended to reduce the total runoff volume by infiltrating stormwater. Six to seven aquifers underlie the metro area and provide residents with drinking water.
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.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), are exploring opportunities for water conservation by businesses in the eleven county metropolitan area. Opportunities for water conservation will be defined for three businesses through the dedicated resources of three MnTAP interns. The interns will analyze water conservation opportunities through full time work on site over the summers of 2014 and 2015.
The University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) identified opportunities for industrial water users in the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area (N&E Metro GWMA) to reduce their water consumption as part of the Department of Natural Resources strategies under the GWMA plan. The source of water in this delineated region is almost exclusively groundwater. Several approaches were used for this effort in order to reach, inform, and interact with a broad range of industrial users.
This project builds upon the success of the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) Community Assistance Package by working hands-on with up to 13 communities in the St. Croix River Basin to adopt ordinance and code revisions to incorporate MIDS stormwater quality and volume standards for new development and redevelopment.
The Kelle's Creek septic system assessment project will examine septic systems throughout the Kelle's Creek watershed to identify those systems that are non-functioning, non-compliant, or an imminent threat to public health and safety. Preliminary prioritization of the septic systems within the watershed will be based on the Washington County GIS database, followed by outreach to landowners to identify willing participants. Ultimately, this project will include inspection of up to 150 septic systems within the Kelle's Creek hydrologic boundary.
The Lake St. Croix Rural Subwatershed Project Implementation Clean Water Fund Grant will allow the Washington Conservation District and its partners to carry out the implementation of 8-10 of the top 50 highly ranked conservation projects already identified in the Top50P! rural subwatershed analysis. Implementation of the conservation practices will work towards achieving an estimated 80-160 pounds of phosphorus load reduction to Lake St. Croix.
This project will address the nutrient impairment of Lake St. Croix through the installation of targeted stormwater treatment best management practices as prioritized in the 2014 Lake St. Croix Direct Discharge Stormwater Retrofit Assessment. The project will install up to 16 Low Impact Development practices to reduce pollutant loading to Lake St. Croix by at least 8.0 pounds phosphorous and 3,000 pounds sediment and 1.0 acre foot of stormwater per year.
The main outcome of Phase III of the project will be the final deliverable of a WRAPS report that will prescribe the restoration and protection strategies for the surface water resources within the Leech Lake River Watershed. The WRAPS will provide the analytical and strategic foundation which will be essential in protecting the surface water resources within this high quality watershed. Along with the development of the WRAPS report, this project will support the development and completion of the MPCA Stressor ID and Watershed Assessment reports to be completed for this watershed.
This project addresses the nutrient impairment of Lily Lake through the continued installation of targeted stormwater treatment best management practices as identified in the 2010 Lily Lake Stormwater Retrofit Assessment. The goal is to install up to 16 Low Impact Development practices treating at least 8 acres of urban development to reduce pollutant loading to Lily Lake by approximately 8 pounds phosphorous, 2 tons of sediment and 3.0 acre-feet of volume per year.
A Level III Feedlot Inventory in the West Fork Des Moines River Watershed identified the need for a new manure storage basin. The Heron Lake Watershed District will be partnering with Murray County, Murray Soil and Water Conservation District, and Southwest Prairie Technical Service Area to construct the basin to ensure that manure and milk house wastewater will be properly stored. In addition, the project will decrease the size and usage of open lots using buffer strip and pasture to significantly reduce nutrient loading.