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 Koochiching County SWCD staff will collect water chemistry and field parameters at specific times to determine amount of contaminant load into each stream. These sites will coincide with locations where stream flow data is also being collected. This project will focus on watershed load monitoring in both the Big Fork and Little Fork River watersheds.
The Statewide Sediment Network was established to measure the levels of suspended sediment concentrations and particle size distributions at eight sites across Minnesota to evaluate the amount of sediment carried by rivers. USGS sample collection and laboratory analysis techniques provide a more rigorous, robust, and technically accurate measure of sediment in water than the current use of total suspended solids as the measure of sediment in water.
Five locations will be monitored in support of the combined Vermilion Community College and Rainy River Community College 2014 – 2015 MPCA Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Sampling Grant. Water samples, field measurements, field images / pictures, and other measurements and observations will be obtained at each location during each sampling event.
The VRWJPO is pursuing a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project in cooperation with the MPCA in order to better identify the sources of stress and impairment to the river, tributaries, and lakes and evaluate the feasibility of reaching water quality goals, and properly allocating pollution reduction goals to those areas identified as likely pollution sources. Successful restoration and protection outcomes are dependent on successful community building and ownership of both the problems and solutions identified in the WRAPS.