As part of the Dakota County Transportation Department's highway 78 road reconstruction project, the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization is partnering with Dakota County to install a nitrate treatment practice on a tributary to the South Branch Vermillion River adjacent to the road. The South Branch Vermillion River subwatershed is the highest nitrate loading subwatershed in the Vermillion River Watershed and is a significant contributor to contaminated drinking water in the eastern portion of the watershed.
The goal of the Pomme de Terre River Association (JPB) is to improve the local water resources within the watershed through targeted voluntary efforts and the building of strong relationships with local landowners, producers, and citizens. The Pomme de Terre River is currently not meeting state water quality for sediment. The purpose of this project is to strategically work towards a 53% sediment reduction goal at the mouth of the Pomme de Terre River based on a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy document.
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 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.
Golden Lake does not meet state water quality standards due to high phosphorus levels. The proposed iron enhanced sand filter basin was identified in the Golden Lake Subwatershed Stormwater Retrofit Analysis to be one of the most cost effective remaining practices for reducing external phosphorus loads to Golden Lake. This project, paired with two previously installed upstream Best Management Practices, will achieve on average, 84% of the phosphorus reduction goal for the watershed.
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.
The Mississippi River is currently listed as impaired for turbidity. Eroding riverbanks are one of the causes of this impairment. An inventory was completed in 2016 of riverbank condition along 5.8-miles of the Mississippi River that is within the City of Ramsey. In this inventory, ten severe to very severe eroding stretches spanning 27 private properties and 6,550 linear feet were identified. Cumulatively, these sites contribute 5,148 tons of sediment per year to the river.