An interagency workgroup is developing recommendations for best practices and policies for water reuse in Minnesota. Recommendations will include both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to successful implementation of water reuse. The workgroup will evaluate current regulations, practices, and barriers, and quantify and determine acceptable health risks associated with water reuse applications. The University of Minnesota is collecting and analyzing field data for use in targeting Minnesota-specific risks.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) 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.
Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) will evaluate and recommend to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (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.
The Application Risk Advisory System is web‑based and provides alerts when conditions are favorable for nutrient loss to water, based on soil conditions and National Weather Service forecast models. This system enables farmers and commercial applicators to avoid applications of fertilizer and manure during conditions when the potential for loss to surface water is high.
The goal of this project is to develop statewide biological criteria for managing the state’s water resources, in keeping with the federal Clean Water Act. The MPCA is using the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) for this development. The BCG is a conceptual model that describes changes in aquatic ecosystems on a gradient of increasing anthropogenic stress.
The goal of this project is to develop a core team of wastewater professionals and academics engaged in understanding and solving wastewater-related problems in Minnesota, with national relevance. The team will promote the use of new technology, designs and practices to address existing and emerging wastewater treatement challenges, including the treatement of wastewater for reuse and the emergence of new and unregulated contaminants.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offers grants to counties for Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) program administration and special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates, and assistance for low-income homeowners with needed SSTS upgrades. The MPCA will determine grant allocations based on applications review; funds will flow to counties through the Board of Water and Soil Resources' Natural Resources Block Grants.
This project will develop a TMDL for all impaired lakes within the Crow Wing Watershed by furthering data collection in the watershed, analysis of data, allocation calculations, and introducing outreach and stakeholder participation activities.
This project will initiate project coordination among project partners. It will enhance civic engagement and outreach endeavors activities to support Phase 2 of TMDL project. It will also support field activities associated with stressor ID work.
This project will finalize HSPF watershed model construction by incorporating internal phosphorus loading in modeled lakes, run a suite of implementation scenarios and generate a GenScn project containing model output. The consultant will produce HSPF watershed models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will deliver all modeling files for baseline and implementation scenarios and provide a GenScn project containing model output.
This project will improve our understanding of the sources of sediment (turbidity), and the processes which deliver sediment to river channels. This project will address a suite of emerging questions regarding contributions and causes of non-field sediment, thereby providing watershed managers with a better understanding of how to manage these sediment sources.
This project will provide a shared working definition and principles for civic engagement, that enable state agencies to more effectively, strategically and collaboratively manage the social dimension of Minnesota’s water resource management efforts . The agencies included in the project are BWSR, MDNR, MDA, MDH and MPCA. The consultant and project participants will develop recommendations that will better enable policy and decision makers, CWF teams, the Clean Water Council and others to make informed decisions surrounding civic engagement efforts.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
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.
This project will determine the magnitude and frequency of contamination from endocrine active compounds (EAC's) and other contaminants of emerging concern in shallow groundwater in non-agricultural areas of Minnesota. EACs and other contaminants of emerging concern in this study include compounds typically found in waste water, including, pharmaceutical compounds, antibiotics, and hormones. This project supports the third phase, including laboratory analysis of samples for an additional 80 wells to be sampled by MPCA staff.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
The Crow Wing River Watershed consists of approximately 1,959 square miles in the north to north central portion of the Upper Mississippi River Basin in Central Minnesota. The watershed encompasses all or parts of Becker, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Morrison, Otter Tail, Todd and Wadena Counties. The dominant land use within the watershed is forested (41%), agriculture (32%), grass, shrub and wetland make up 17%, water (7%) and urban (3%).
Groundwater sample collection and analysis will be conducted for contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) at large subsurface treatment systems (LSTS) and rapid infiltration basins (RIB), using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology. Results from the ELISA analysis will be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used to conduct follow-up investigations at a select number of these sites.
The goal of this project is to extend the existing HSPF models through 2012 in the Chippewa Watershed (07020005) and Hawk-Yellow Medicine Watershed (07020004) to incorporate recent monitoring data to support current MPCA business needs and sediment source investigations.
The goal of this project is to develop a watershed-scale decision support tool, Scenario Application Manager (SAM), to facilitate prioritization and placement of best management practices (BMPs) needed to achieve the necessary reductions identified by various watershed management programs in Minnesota. SAM consists of a Geographic Information System (GIS) for site selection, and Hydrological Simulation Program – Fortran (HSPF) model application to simulate the transport of pollutants.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as a stressor has not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
The goal of this project is to finalize the draft Lake Pepin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report, issue it for public comment, address comments, and finalize the report. Lake Pepin is impaired by high levels of nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae. High levels of sediment, carried in by major river systems, also affect the lake. The sediment is filling in the lake at a much faster rate than before Minnesota was settled and intensely farmed. Nutrients and sediment are distinct yet inter-related pollutants, and are being addressed in separate TMDL reports.
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.
Appropriations from the Clean Water Fund allow the Minnesota Department of Health to expand and improve the way groundwater and drinking water protection is implemented at the local level. In 2015, $300,000 was allocated to update wellhead protection areas within groundwater management areas. From 2016 onward, funding will be dedicated to the Groundwater Restoration and Protection Strategies (GRAPS) initiative which will provide groundwater and drinking water information and management strategies on a HUC 8 watershed scale.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. MIDS offers guidelines, recommendations and tools that help low impact development practices be implemented more uniformly across Minnesota's landscape and provides guidance to effectively implement the concepts and practices of low impact development. Products include performance goals for new development, redevelopment and linear projects, a graphic user interface calculator and flexible treatment options for sites design.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. The consultant was hired to conduct research and design specifications for permeable pavement and turf.
The overall goal of this project is to further develop performance standards, design standards, or other tools to enable the implementation of low-impact development and other stormwater management techniques.
This project is to update stormwater harvest/reuse best management practices (BMPs) in the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) calculator. The update will also allow the calculator to utilize Excel files from previous of the tool.
The objective of this project is to build on previous efforts aimed at determining the public health risk due to virus contamination in Minnesota groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health will examine the occurrence of viruses in non-disinfecting groundwater sources in Minnesota as well as evaluate the association between source water virus occurrence and community acute gastrointestinal illness.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will conduct water sample analysis and collect data for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to meet the requirements of the MPCA’s environmental programs.
This project will update sediment Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for 60-64 impaired stream reaches and provide a final TMDL report. The report will address sediment and turbidity impaired streams in the Minnesota River Watershed. TMDLs will describe the impairment in each water body and water quality targets, and will include a discussion of pollutant sources, supporting report components that document assumptions and methodologies, and TMDL equations with completed load allocations, wasteload allocations, and margin of safety for each impairment.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
The goal of this project is to support the Stressor Identification portion of the Minnesota Watershed approach by designing a template used to develop Stressor Identification Reports for watersheds across the State of Minnesota.