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.
South Central Technical Service Area (SCTSA) will use this Clean Water Fund grant to provide Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other local organizations in its eleven-county area with a Geographic Information System (GIS) Technician to assist in using available GIS information to target specific locations where Best Management Practices (BMPs) can be installed to help improve water quality.
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 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 Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District Drainage Engineer will inventory public drainage ditches to identify priority systems and areas where erosion, sediment, and nutrients contribute to water quality degradation. Sites identified for potential side inlet control, buffer strip need, or water storage will be prioritized for landowner contact and follow through by seeking external funding opportunities.
Working with a consultant, a current online database to manage public drainage systems will be enhanced and a corresponding mobile inspection app will be developed to facilitate drainage compliance and improve inspection planning. With these improvements, a long-term, comprehensive, GIS-compatible database will be in place to help plan, collect, document, summarize, and analyze system condition, repair needs, and violations with the overall goal of protecting and improving water quality.
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.
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 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 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.
Brown's Creek Watershed District (BCWD) has identified two neighborhoods that drain untreated stormwater directly to Long Lake, a recreational lake in Stillwater that has been listed as impaired for excess nutrients. By working with targeted residential landowners in the high priority neighborhoods, BCWD will install 10-15 best management practices to achieve measurable outcomes of 5 acre-feet of nutrient-rich stormwater infiltration,1 ton of total sediment and 6 pounds of total phosphorus removed from Long Lake per year.
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.
This project was part of a three-state partnership to test, demonstrate and promote a simple, inexpensive and reliable new system for edge-of-field water monitoring. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm, in collaboration with UW-Platteville Engineering, has developed a low cost monitoring system that can obtain good quality, edge-of-field monitoring data in agricultural settings. By eliminating unnecessary features and assembling components in-house, the prototype monitoring system derives the majority of cost savings with minimal sacrifice in accuracy.
The West Fork Des Moines Headwaters Water Sampling Project consists of collecting water samples and along with field data from three sampling sites within the West Fork Des Moines River Headwaters located in Murray County, MN. The sampling will take place from May 2014 through September 2014, and then again from June 2015 through August 2015. During this sampling regime, the three stream sites will be sampled sixteen times. Field replicates as well as blanks will be collected also. The three sites identified for sampling are the West Fork Des Moines RIver, Beaver Creek, and Lime Creek.
The goal of this project is to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.