This project builds on the momentum and success of previous Clean Water Fund grants in making significant non-point source pollution reductions that address state-identified turbidity, excess nutrient and dissolved oxygen impairments of the Lower Minnesota River and points downstream. These water quality improvements will be achieved by constructing high-value, cost-effective conservation best management practices in Scott County directly tributary to the Minnesota River.
The Carver County Planning and Water Management Department (PWM) has an active well sealing cost share program. Following the adoption of the updated County Groundwater Plan in February of 2016, the Carver County Board of Commissioners moved to accelerate the program to encourage landowners to seal abandoned wells. Carver County is looking to supplement existing funds, as demand is expected to increase. With this additional funding, it is the goal of Carver County PWM to seal an additional 15 wells county wide.
The purpose of this project is to install prioritized and targeted best management practices on the Carver County Ditch #6 drainage system that drains directly into Bevens Creek. Bevens Creek does not meet state water quality standards for sediment. The goal of the project is to install 6 grade stabilization structures, 5 grassed waterways, and 2 water and sediment control basins that have been identified through GIS LIDAR applications and field verified along with landowner support.
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 with the assistance of the Board of Water and Soil Resources protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.”
The project is part of the Six Mile-Halsted Bay Subwatershed Plan, a planning partnership currently underway which aims to protect and improve natural resources within this priority subwatershed by working closely with partnering agencies to integrate capital investments and maximize public return on investment. This project will enhance two existing stormwater ponds to enhance treatment of phosphorus as well as incorporate treatment of the Church Lake outlet, a lake which routinely fails to meet state water quality standards and contributes to the water quality impairment of East Auburn.
The Yellow Medicine One Watershed One Plan has identified Protecting and Preserving Groundwater Quality and Quantity as one of the three priorities addressed in the Plan. Seven priority sub-watersheds have been identified as priority areas, as well as two townships that have been identified by the Department of Agriculture to have vulnerable groundwater areas. Our goal is to provide 50% cost share to seal 34 abandoned wells that are located in these priority areas.