The occurrences of contaminants including antibiotics, other pharmaceuticals, and personal care products in the environment have gained increasing attention in recent years because of their potential health and ecological impacts. However, serious gaps remain in our understanding of these contaminants and the significance of the threats they may pose, such as to drinking water. Through this appropriation scientists at the University of St.
Working with the Metropolitan Council, the University of Minnesota - Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is investigating the opportunity for water conservation by private industrial water users across the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Private industrial water users are defined as industries that use private wells for their water supply. This work is determining factors that encourage or create barriers for implementation of identified industrial water conservation opportunities.
Recent efforts by Carver County Water Management Organization Staff have centered on removing point sources of bacteria in both Bevens and Carver Creeks. These efforts have shown improvement in water quality; however the creeks are still above the state standard for E. coli. Early results from field surveys have pinpointed areas where livestock have uncontrolled access to streams. Five sites over a twenty mile stretch of Bevens Creek have shown evidence of livestock access to streams and associated damage to streambanks.
The Burandt Lake Stormwater Reuse System (BLSRS) project will install a water reuse system to capture untreated storm water and reduce pollutants entering Burandt Lake. This collaborative project with Carver County, Carver County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), City of Waconia and Independent School District 110 will retain and reuse an estimated 48% of the annual storm water runoff (1.25 million gallons) currently generated from eight acres of adjacent residential neighborhoods.
Carver County Staff will monitor Silver Creek at station S000-843 following the basic monitoring regime. S000-843 is located in the Lower Minnesota subwatershed in southeastern Carver County. The monitoring will be conducted from 2014 to 2015 and include 13 site visits in 2014; collecting TSVS, TSS, Total P, Ammonia-N, TKN, NO2+NO3, Sulfate, Chloride, and Hardness as CaCO3 ten times. E.coli will be collected nine times in 2014.
The overall goal is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study that will address water quality impairments and maintain or improve water quality throughout the Clearwater River watershed. The study will identify sources of pollutants to the streams and lakes, allocate pollution reduction goals, and prioritize and identify implementation strategies to maintain or improve water quality in key lakes and streams in the watershed.
The St. Cloud Waste Water Treatment Facility (SCWWTF) is currently conducting long term planning for future biosolids management. The most likely path forward includes dewatering of the digested biosolids, which will produce a supernatant stream with significant phosphorus and ammonia loads that would be returned to the liquids treatment portion of the WWTF. Returning these nutrient loads to the liquids train would result in increases to effluent concentrations, increases in power consumption, or both.
The Q-Lot at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) is an 8 acre (1,000 spaces) gravel and asphalt parking lot. The parking lot's surface is impervious, which means it doesn't allow for rainfall or snow melt to soak into the ground. Instead, the water runs off directly into storm sewers, taking with it sediment, bacteria, automotive fluids and other pollutants which flow straight into the Mississippi River. SCSU staff has frequently witnessed plumes of sediment the color of chocolate milk where the storm sewer discharges into the river.
This project will install new stormwater treatment practices in neighborhoods directly draining to Coon Lake. The objective is to remove phosphorus, which fuels algae growth, before the water is discharged into the lake. Seventeen potential project sites have been identified and ranked and include curb-cut rain gardens, swales, stabilizing stormwater discharge points, and a basin outlet modification.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Clean Water Fund appropriation identified the northeast metro as an area where potential solutions are needed to address emerging water supply issues. The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with S.E.H. consultants, evaluated water supply approaches to serve the northeastern part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. A subregional study areas was selected based on the indication of potential problems with the long-term sustainability of current water supplies, as well as expressed interest by community stakeholders.
This project will install an iron enhanced sand filter (IESF) to restore water quality in Golden Lake. Golden Lake is within a fully developed area of the Twin Cities, surrounded by residential land use, and the focal point of a city park. The IESF will achieve 11% of the phosphorus reduction (21 lbs/yr) required for Golden Lake to meet State water quality standards, as identified in the approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
The Twin Cities metropolitan area has a rich history and connection with its waters. In an effort to keep surface waters clean, a wide variety of stormwater practices have been developed and installed throughout the metro in recent years. Many of these, such as rain gardens and infiltration basins and trenches, are intended to reduce the total runoff volume by infiltrating stormwater. Six to seven aquifers underlie the metro area and provide residents with drinking water.
In 2005, Metropolitan Council was directed to carry out regional water supply planning activities under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.1565. Working closely with the region's many water supply stakeholders and under the guidance of a metropolitan area water supply advisory committee, Metropolitan Council developed and adopted a metropolitan area master water supply plan (master plan) in 2010. The plan provides a framework for water supply planning and identifies actions needed to achieve the goal of ensuring sustainable water supplies across the region.
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.
Through this appropriation Dakota County plans to permanently protect approximately 27 acres of shoreland and contiguous upland in the Marcott Lakes area of Inver Grove Heights by securing a conservation easement from a willing landowner. For all acres protected, natural resource management plans will be prepared to ensure their long term stewardship. Additionally, restoration and enhancement activities are expected to occur on approximately 40 acres.
This project was part of a three-state partnership to test, demonstrate and promote a simple, inexpensive and reliable new system for edge-of-field water monitoring. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm, in collaboration with UW-Platteville Engineering, has developed a low cost monitoring system that can obtain good quality, edge-of-field monitoring data in agricultural settings. By eliminating unnecessary features and assembling components in-house, the prototype monitoring system derives the majority of cost savings with minimal sacrifice in accuracy.
This Oak Glen Creek stormwater pond expansion and enhancement using an iron enhanced sand filter (IESF) is a partnership between the Anoka Conservation District (ACD) and a private company to protect a downstream corridor stabilization and improve the quality of stormwater discharged to the Mississippi River. Very little stormwater infrastructure currently exists in the 573 acre Oak Glen Creek subwatershed, and it discharges 147,519 pounds of sediment and 353 pounds of phosphorus to the Mississippi River annually.
The goal of this project is to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
This project will provide lake and stream monitoring assistance to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), identifying impaired waters within the Lower Minnesota RIver Watershed (Watershed ID: 07020012) according to the Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) Approach.
The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District's (SWCD) Stump and Sagatagan Lakes Subwatershed Stormwater Treatment Projects will retrofit sub-catchment drainage areas on St. John's University (SJU) campus that drain untreated stormwater runoff directly into Stump and Sagatagan Lakes. This area of the region has been identified as ecologically significant by the Nature Conservancy's Eco-Regional Plan and the MN DNR's County Biological Survey.
A new GIS technician will help prioritize and target conservation activities and protection strategies in nine north-central Minnesota counties. The GIS technician will create GIS products, assessments, and watershed analysis to identify the high priority areas in each County or watershed in need of protection or restoration using all available data, including LiDAR, soils, land use, completed WRAPS and other datasets. These areas will then be targeted for future resource management efforts, Clean Water Fund projects, and additional conservation activities.
State law charges the Metropolitan Council (Council) with developing and maintaining a base of technical information needed for sound water supply decisions (Minnesota Statutes 473.1565). The Council’s primary tool to provide this information is the Metro Model 2, a regional groundwater model capable of predicting the impacts of planned water demand on aquifers and connected lakes and streams. The Metro Model 2 is a modern and comprehensive groundwater model of the Twin Cities area, but it is currently out-of-date.
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.
This project builds on the successful implementation of previous work, installing 29 water and sediment control basins and 25 acres of vegetative filter strips within the priority Marsh Creek watershed to reduce sediment loading into the Wild Rice River, which is currently not meeting water quality standards for sediment.