The Benton County Water Plan advisory committee has the goal of protecting groundwater resources in Benton County. One of the methods identified is to seal unused wells. In 2013, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District completed an aggressive campaign to identify unused wells. We used several sources to locate potential wells, completed site visits for many wells and collected site information to assisting in prioritizing limited cost share resources.
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) proposes to partner with citizen groups and nonprofit groups to complete projects that will reduce polluted runoff and keep water on the land in Crow Wing County's (CWC) 125 minor watersheds. To do this, the SWCD will implement a mini grant program and provide competitive grant funds to an anticipated 12 groups. Citizens groups will use their innovation and creativity to apply for project funds through the SWCD.
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 Rainy River - Rainy Lake, Rainy River - Baudette and Rapid River Watershed Assessments will include the waters of the Baudette River, Black River, Peppermint Creek, Rapid River, Rat Root River and Winter Road River in Koochiching and Lake of the Woods Counties. This assessment focuses on collection of water chemistry and field parameters at the 12 key sites identified and modified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Five of the sites will have extra total phosphorus and chlorophyll analysis completed as identified by the MPCA for collecting river nutrients.
This project will result in the installation of give water quality practices totaling 350 linear feet of restored lakeshore and 6,000 square feet of native plant stormwater management. By targeting properties that are eroding and/or with concentrated overland flow to the lake, pollutant discharge to the lake will be reduced.
This grant will fund the creation of a new Coordinator position with a primary focus on the Mille Lacs Lake subwatershed. Although not currently impaired, the Lake faces increasing development and land use pressure. Implementation of protection strategies is essential to the Lake's long-term health but current staffing does not allow sufficient time to be spent on project development and outreach to identify interested landowners.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
Trained staff will help assure the water chemistry data that is collected is of good quality. After the 1 day training events participants will be able to calibrate sonde water quality monitoring sensors in a lab or field setting, deploy the calibrated sonde to collect water chemistry, store sondes properly during non-field season and perform preventative maintenance or simple troubleshooting actions with the help of tech support. This will be satisfied by two different training events held in 2017.