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.
This project will complete the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) for the Lake Superior North watershed. Two segments of the Flute Reed River are impaired for aquatic life due to elevated turbidity and total suspended solids. The lower Poplar River is also listed as impaired but significant progress has occurred in the last 10 years. A TMDL and implementation plan have been completed for the lower Poplar River impairment. All other waters meet water quality standards and will be considered for protection measures.
Concern for Deer Yard and Poplar lakes centers on their current trends of decreasing water transparencies often associated with phosphorus or sediment increases. Although both lakes still meet nutrient goals, trends in Secchi depth may presage emerging issues with the state of the lakes. This has further led to questions whether the productivity of the lakes have changed over time, what the natural or historical condition of the lakes were, what the current trajectory of each lake is, and how to best set management goals.