The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has had such great success implementing gully stabilization projects along the St. Croix River escarpment that all of the current grant funding has been encumbered towards projects. Two large gully projects, one in the City of Taylors Falls and a second nearby in Interstate State Park, are lined up and ready to go as soon as funding is secured. Both of these gullies are large and have been actively eroding for many years, depositing large loads of sediment and phosphorus directly into the St. Croix River.
In recent years, nutrient enrichment has occurred in Lake St. Croix due to increasing amounts of phosphorus entering the lake from the watershed. According to the TMDL, approximately half of the phosphorus-loading to Lake St. Croix is in the soluble form, and agriculture has been identified as one of the largest contributors of that phosphorus. In addition to the TMDL, subwatershed analyses were completed to identify, assess, and prioritize phosphorus-reducing practices in rural areas draining to Lake St. Croix in Washington County. This project will reduce phosphorus discharges to the St.
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.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
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.
Forest Lake is one of the top recreational lakes in the metro area with a diverse and healthy fishery along with thee public accesses. The water quality of Forest Lake also impacts downstream waters, particularly Comfort Lake, the Sunrise River, and ultimately Lake St. Croix. A water quality study was completed for Forest Lake identifying nutrient reduction goals to meet state water quality standards for all three basins of Forest Lake along with the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District's (CLFLWD) long term goal water quality goals for the lake.
This project will continue to address the nutrient impairment of Lake St. Croix through the installation of targeted stormwater treatment best management practices as prioritized in the 2014 Lake St. Croix Direct Discharge Stormwater Retrofit Assessment. The goal is to install up to 24 Low Impact Development practices to reduce urban pollutant loading to Lake St. Croix by at least 12.0 pounds phosphorous and 3,000 pounds TSS and 1.0 acre foot of stormwater per year. This project parallels many ongoing watershed restoration efforts to meet the Middle St.
Moody Lake is the headwaters of the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District northern flow network, and as such, its water quality sets the stage for downstream waters, particularly Bone Lake, Comfort Lake, the Sunrise River, and ultimately Lake St. Croix. A multi-year diagnostic and implementation feasibility study was conducted in the Moody Lake watershed to prioritize nutrient sources, target cost-effective BMPs, and estimate the measurable phosphorus reductions that will be achieved through implementation of these projects.
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.
This project will reduce phosphorus loading from the watershed tributary to Silver Lake. The project includes a combination of structural water quality improvements in the SLV-10 subwatershed north of the lake, retrofits (including iron enhanced sand filtration) to the Silver Lake bioretention basin, small scale best management practices (BMPs) throughout the watershed, and educational signage in Joy Park. The elements of this project will reduce phosphorus loading to Silver Lake by a combined 15 pounds per year or 40% of the current watershed load.