Wabasha Soil and Water Conservation District, in conjunction with Wabasha Natural Resources Conservation Service field office and Farm Service Agency field office, will complete 75 compliance checks and writing or rewriting Highly Erodable Lands plans throughout Wabasha county. Technical staff, upon completion, will partner with landowners to coordinate potential future funding to increase conservation on the land and increase water quality in streams and groundwater through Best Management Practices placement.
Peer Engineering, Inc. (Peer) will evaluate and recommend to MPCA groundwater monitoring staff prospective sites/locations for the installation of groundwater monitoring wells to evaluate contaminant/pollutant concentrations from various sources. Peer will oversee the installation of monitoring wells by retaining a state drilling contractor or preparing bid documents to retain well driller through the Department of Administration. Superfund staff will assist in the project by providing oversight of contractual requirements and provide technical assistance as needed.
This project will construct, calibrate, and validate an HSPF watershed model for the Zumbro River watershed. The consultant will produce HSPF watershed models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDLs). The consultant will clearly demonstrate that the models generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen that are consistent with available sets of observed data.
Nitrogen is a serious problem in Minnesota's Mississippi River Basin and the Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will address this problem through saturated buffers. Nitrates have been linked to adverse health effects, and nitrogen is the leading cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Agriculture drainage through the use of tile drainage systems have been identified as the number one leading source of nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin.
LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects.
The Middle Fork Zumbro River Critical Source Area Restoration Clean Water Fund grant will focus on the implementation of six to eight of the 23 identified and ranked sediment reducing conservation practices identified in two targeted sub-watersheds of the Middle Fork Zumbro River. These six to eight projects will work towards achieving an estimated 49-96 tons of TSS to the impaired Middle Fork Zumbro River and are imperative to the health of the Middle Fork Zumbro River and Lake Zumbro.
The Miller Hill Mall, a regional shopping destination located in the City of Duluth, is the largest contiguous impervious site in the Miller Creek Watershed. The draft Total Maximum Daily Load Study identified heated stormwater runoff as a major contributor to the creek's excessive heat loading problem, which negatively impacts the creek's native brook trout population. The Mall, along with eight other entities in the watershed, was assigned a reduction goal as part of the effort to address the temperature problem in this creek.
Regionally, nitrate nitrogen concentrations are continuing to increase in both surface water and ground water based on monitoring data. The increasing trends are thought to be attributable to over application of manure and commercial nutrients on row-cropped fields. In order for nitrate concentrations to decrease, nutrient management is needed throughout the basin. Two nutrient management specialists will assist landowners in the eleven-county Southeast Minnesota Area with writing nutrient management plans and implementing conservation practices for manure and fertilizer use.
Within an 11-county area in southeastern Minnesota, two Nutrient Management Specialists will work directly with producers to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in the region and the Mississippi River. The specialists will help producers create or revise nutrient management plans, implement Best Management Practices for manure and fertilizer use, and set up on-farm demonstration projects to support farmer-to-farmer learning.
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.
Nitrogen is a serious problem in Minnesota's Mississippi River Basin and the Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) plans to address this problem through the instillation of six nitrogen reducing agricultural best management practices in the Dodge/Steele Joint County Ditch No. 11 system, also known as the Ripley Ditch system. Agriculture drainage, through the use of agricultural tile drainage systems, has been identified as the number one leading source of nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin.
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.
The purpose of this project is to provide a new shared position in southeast Minnesota which will accelerate the adoption of soil health practices by leveraging the existing efforts of the National Resources Conservation Service and other organizations.
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.
The goal of this project is to investigate nitrate transport and the sources of nitrate in karst for more effective implementation of best management practices that will reduce nitrate concentrations in ground and surface water.
This project will focus on stream sample collection in 2 different watersheds in Goodhue County. Sample locations on streams will utilize existing STORET station ID sites along the North Branch of the Middle Fork of the Zumbro River and Hay Creek. The Middle Fork flows from the Kenyon area east to the City of Pine Island and drains roughly 40,000 acres. Hay Creek is a ~17,000 acre watershed that drains agricultural land and rolling hills between the town of Goodhue and Red Wing.
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 South Branch of Cascade Creek Turbidity Reduction Project will construct three wetland retention structures within the upper half of the watershed for water quality improvement including sediment reduction, flood attenuation and wildlife habitat improvement. The project will construct wetland basins on the Meadow Lake Golf Course to provide water quality improvement on a previously untreated branch that flows into the upper end of the stream channel restoration project.
The Zumbro River watershed HSPF model will be refined to include recent data and information as well as evaluate various management scenarios to inform the most effective actions for reducing sediment and nutrient loading and improving water quality. Specifically, to provide the foundation for the Lake Zumbro Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
The goal of this project is to test the sensitivity of the Zumbro River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model management scenario results. Additional goals are to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired stream reaches and Rice Lake, which will be documented in a TMDL Report. The consultant will apply the existing calibrated and validated Zumbro River Watershed HSPF model to construct load duration curves to develop TMDLs.