This project targets retrofit stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on public land to assist partnering Local Government Units (LGUs) achieve water quality goals identified in local stormwater plans. The Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides technical assistance and distributes Clean Water Funding (CWF) to leverage local funding through its time-proven Stormwater Retrofit Partnership (Partnership) cost share program.
This project is a continuation of the Dakota County Community Initiative, which has received Clean Water Funds in 2012 and 2013. It will provide cost share funding to organizations and associations who voluntarily construct medium sized water quality best management practices (BMPs) in Dakota County.
This project will use the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District's existing Conservation Initiative Funding program to provide technical assistance and monetary incentives for targeted, medium-sized projects such as raingardens, bioinfiltration, biofiltration, bioswales, shoreline stabilizations, and other best management practices (BMPs). Project proposals will be solicited from faith based organizations, homeowner associations, school organizations, lake associations, and others that own or manage large areas of land.
With limited funds and limited staff time available for targeting critical service areas and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools that pinpoint locations where BMPs will have the highest effectiveness are increasingly important. The Blue Earth County/SWCD Watershed Implementation Targeting project will utilize LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of high importance for BMP implementation. The county is located in the Blue Earth, LeSueur, Watonwan and Middle Minnesota watersheds where there is a high density of impaired waters.
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
Sediment and water quality issues are local priorities within the Thief River and Red Lake River watersheds, which have their confluence in the city of Thief River Falls. The 1W1P effort underway in the Red Lake River Watershed will identify opportunities for projects and practices that are targeted and result in measurable water quality benefits throughout the watershed using PTMApp.
Numerous County ditch systems in Pennington County end at a natural drainage prior to outleting into a river or other watercourse and these outlets can be in a very erosive state. The goal of this project is to inventory these systems to determine needs and prioritize projects for implementation.
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.
Le Sueur County has completed water quality assessments of its lakes, which are on the impaired waters list for excess nutrients. The Francis Rays Sakatah Tetonka Lakes Septic Inventory project will complete up to 400 shoreland septic compliance inspections, create an ArcMap GIS layer, create community assessment reports on priority areas and provide education and outreach to the public through informational meetings and website development. The project will also jump-start upgrading non-compliant septic systems.
The German-Jefferson Subordinate Service District Board (board) completed a voluntary septic inventory through the Clean Water Fund in 2013. 344 out of 754 parcels participated in the inventory. Approximately 50% of the septic systems were found to be non-compliant with MN Rules Chapter 7080. That project included an assessment of septic systems on non-participating properties that identified eleven priority areas in populated communities with small lots. Three community feasibility studies out of the eleven priority areas were conducted.
The purpose of this project is to identify effective irrigation and nutrient management best management practices and technologies and the barriers that prevent irrigators, producers, and other agricultural partners from adopting them in Otter Tail County. The primary goal is to reduce nitrate in areas where groundwater is susceptible to contamination as mapped by The Minnesota Department of Health by identifying effective BMPs and addressing the barriers to their adoption.
The goal of the Lake Volney Targeted Restoration project is to improve the water quality draining to Lake Volney, which is impaired for excess nutrients. The project contains eight priority areas and will install a variety of Best Management Practices, including stormwater basins, ag retention, wetland enhancement, and more.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
The Cannon River Watershed includes approximately 941,000 acres of primarily agricultural landscape. Because of its large size, four subwatershed lobes are often referenced: Straight River Watershed, Upper Cannon River Watershed, Middle Cannon River Watershed, and the Lower Cannon River Watershed. Rice County is proposing utilizing LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of highest importance for Best Management Practice (BMP) Implementation for sediment within the Middle and Lower Cannon subwatersheds.
Ninety percent of the land in Mower County is used for agriculture. The County ranks 10th and 13th in the State for corn and bean production, making much of the land vulnerable to erosion due to the planting of row crop. As a result, streams and ditches in the county see high sediment loads.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
The Otter Tail County Community Partners Grant Project will enable community groups to go beyond planning and take action to protect their water resources. This grant program will provide targeted community groups with the means to make positive improvements now and identify high priority projects for future opportunities. Engaging community members in the identification of water protection opportunities with the data in recently completed lake assessment reports will help build connections and foster a stewardship ethic.
This Initiative is a nine-year plan to take a systematic approach to inventory and analyze all Public Waters within the County. Phase 1 includes identifying areas of concern through GIS analysis of current landuse along Public Waters, and the development of a database of non-compliant landowners which will be updated and maintained. Once landowners have been identified they will receive a joint letter and map stating that they may not be in compliance.
The purpose of this project is to develop a detailed tool that can be used in all watersheds within the Otter Tail and Becker counties to prioritize, target, and measure implementation practices at the field scale. The PTM App will significantly increase the targeting capabilities in Otter Tail and Becker Counties. The Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy has not been completed for Otter Tail County, yet, and the PTM App will be able to assist targeting and prioritizing when those documents are created.
The Douglas County Partners for Clean Water program enables community groups to take action and improve their water resources. Engaging citizens directly in project development and installation efforts provides immediate water quality benefits and cultivates a community of active stewardship.
Realizing the need for increased technical capacity in the field offices, the Becker, East Otter Tail and West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation Districts have developed an agreement that will increase technical capacity while minimizing costs to each district. The first step was taken in this agreement through the recent hire of a shared engineer. Currently, minimal survey grade equipment is owned by the districts. This grant will be used to purchase an integrated survey system.
This project will engage the public and community partners in Rice County. The goal of this project is the implementation of conservation practices that retain water on the land by providing up to five sub-grants for rain gardens, vegetative buffers, and wetland restorations.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
Over the past two years, Dakota County has learned that many properties within the city do not have septic system records identifying the presence or condition of their septic system, and anecdotal evidence that some are failing. The County will use CWF Accelerated Implementation Grant dollars to inventory and inspect all septic systems within the City of Randolph. As part of the inspection, a well inventory will also be conducted. Based on a preliminary assessment, there are 105 properties that will require inspection.
Shattuck Saint Mary's, located atop of a bluff area upland of the east bank of the Straight River, encompasses a land area of 324 acres that contains over 16,426 miles of mild to extensively eroded ravines and gullies; many of which directly discharge to the Straight River. In addition to pollutant loads in runoff from the school's watershed and eroded ravines, banks and gullies, the Straight River also experiences pollutant loading from eroding stream banks in this reach; annual sediment loads average 1,962 tons per year.
An effective regulatory program is key to the successful implementation of local land use and water management plans. Yet, county, watershed, and other state, tribal, and local agencies charged with enforcement and permit review often work in silos and infrequently coordinate with each other or share information. This leads to higher enforcement costs, conflicts between agencies, redundancy of inspections, property owner frustration, and reinforces negative stereotypes of regulatory agencies.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Ten of these small communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly into the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
Spring Park watershed is over 225 acres. Most of the watershed has been fully developed into a variety of residential, commercial, and institutional land uses. Project funds would be utilized to conduct a watershed analysis with the goal of identifying pollutant load sources and potential areas for structural stormwater BMPs for future retro-fit projects to reduce instances of localized flooding, reduce peak storm flows, and improve the quality of stormwater runoff discharging into Crocker's Creek.
The project will develop, adopt, and implement an agricultural erosion control ordinance for Steele County. Project funds will be used to hire a consultant to assist in this endeavor to gather input from citizens, organize meetings and develop a draft ordinance. County staff will assist with organizing meetings, holding hearings, and the formal process of adopting the developed ordinance.
The goal of the project is to identify priority locations for project implementation using the Prioritize, Targeting, and Measuring Application (PTMApp) in the Thief River Watershed. The PTMApp will be used to identify and evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of best management practices including treatment scenarios, and provide estimates of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus delivered to the Thief River Watershed, which is impaired for sediment.
This project will improve surface water quality within the sediment degraded Trout Brook, a designated trout stream and tributary to the Cannon River. The project will focus on the installation of best management practices that will reduce the amount of sediment transport within the watershed. Approximately 20 practices will be installed through this project which will reduce an estimated 2,000 tons of sediment per year.
The Cannon River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Rice County and joins the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream near Red Wing. The Upper Cannon, which encompasses 29% of the entire watershed, has been identified as a priority subwatershed.
The purpose of this project is to complete subwatershed analysis for Cannon River and Vermillion River sub-watersheds to prioritize and target Best Management Practices based on cost-effectiveness with regard to pollutant reduction. This process is intended to proactively assist local water management and partner agencies in maximizing the value of each dollar spent to improve water quality in the respective rivers.