This project targets retrofit stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on public land to assist partnering Local Government Units (LGUs) achieve water quality goals identified in local stormwater plans. The Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides technical assistance and distributes Clean Water Funding (CWF) to leverage local funding through its time-proven Stormwater Retrofit Partnership (Partnership) cost share program.
This project is a continuation of the Dakota County Community Initiative, which has received Clean Water Funds in 2012 and 2013. It will provide cost share funding to organizations and associations who voluntarily construct medium sized water quality best management practices (BMPs) in Dakota County.
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.
This project will use the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District's existing Conservation Initiative Funding program to provide technical assistance and monetary incentives for targeted, medium-sized projects such as raingardens, bioinfiltration, biofiltration, bioswales, shoreline stabilizations, and other best management practices (BMPs). Project proposals will be solicited from faith based organizations, homeowner associations, school organizations, lake associations, and others that own or manage large areas of land.
The Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization, in partnership with the City of Burnsville, is planning an overall improvement in the Alimagnet Lake subwatershed that consists retrofit two existing stormwater ponds that drain to Alimagnet Lake, a nutrient impaired water, with iron-enhanced sand filter benches. It is estimated that a significant amount of phosphorus reduction will be achieved by implementing this project, bringing Alimagnet Lake closer to state water quality standards.
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.
South Creek is a tributary to the Vermillion River and a DNR-designated trout stream. Currently, the creek is not meeting state water quality standards for sediment, temperature and dissolved oxygen The Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization and the City of Lakeville propose to retrofit an existing stormwater pipe with a hydrodynamic separator to reduce the sediment load reaching South Creek and the Vermillion River. One hydrodynamic separator will be installed and is estimated to reduce sediment loads to South Creek and the Vermillion River by 4 tons per year.
The Vermillion River Watershed JPO is partnering with Dakota County and the City of Lakeville to enhance stormwater management along County Road 50. A treatment train approach with an iron-enhanced sand filter at the tail end to remove dissolved phosphorus will be implemented to treat a drainage area including a portion of the upstream neighborhoods that currently receive little to no stormwater treatment. The practice is anticipated to reduce 20 pounds of phosphorus annually from reaching Lake Marion, a water resource with high recreational value targeted for protection.
South Creek, a tributary to the Vermillion River and a DNR-designated trout stream. Currently, the creek is not meeting state water quality standards for sediment, temperature and dissolved oxygen and it flows through a large stormwater basin in the City of Lakeville. The Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization, in partnership with the city, propose to create a new channel for the creek in order to separate it from the pond. The result would be significantly cooler temperatures, increased dissolved oxygen, and less sediment-laden water in South Creek.
With limited funds and limited staff time available for targeting critical service areas and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools that pinpoint locations where BMPs will have the highest effectiveness are increasingly important. The Blue Earth County/SWCD Watershed Implementation Targeting project will utilize LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of high importance for BMP implementation. The county is located in the Blue Earth, LeSueur, Watonwan and Middle Minnesota watersheds where there is a high density of impaired waters.
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
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.
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.
Le Sueur County has completed water quality assessments of its lakes, which are on the impaired waters list for excess nutrients. The Francis Rays Sakatah Tetonka Lakes Septic Inventory project will complete up to 400 shoreland septic compliance inspections, create an ArcMap GIS layer, create community assessment reports on priority areas and provide education and outreach to the public through informational meetings and website development. The project will also jump-start upgrading non-compliant septic systems.
The German-Jefferson Subordinate Service District Board (board) completed a voluntary septic inventory through the Clean Water Fund in 2013. 344 out of 754 parcels participated in the inventory. Approximately 50% of the septic systems were found to be non-compliant with MN Rules Chapter 7080. That project included an assessment of septic systems on non-participating properties that identified eleven priority areas in populated communities with small lots. Three community feasibility studies out of the eleven priority areas were conducted.
King Park, a city-owned park in Lakeville, consists of baseball fields, a park building, and a parking lot. A portion of Dodd Blvd, a driveway, and the parking lot drain to a stormwater pond at the north end of the park where water is retained, treated, and reused to irrigate two ball fields. This stormwater reuse project was constructed by the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization (VRWJPO) and the City of Lakeville in 2010 to meet VRWJPO and city goals.
The goal of the Lake Volney Targeted Restoration project is to improve the water quality draining to Lake Volney, which is impaired for excess nutrients. The project contains eight priority areas and will install a variety of Best Management Practices, including stormwater basins, ag retention, wetland enhancement, and more.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
The Cannon River Watershed includes approximately 941,000 acres of primarily agricultural landscape. Because of its large size, four subwatershed lobes are often referenced: Straight River Watershed, Upper Cannon River Watershed, Middle Cannon River Watershed, and the Lower Cannon River Watershed. Rice County is proposing utilizing LiDAR topographic data to determine areas of highest importance for Best Management Practice (BMP) Implementation for sediment within the Middle and Lower Cannon subwatersheds.
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.
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.
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 grant application will focus on the construction of multiple targeted best management practices (BMPs) in priority areas which will provide measurable reductions in sediment and phosphorus loadings to cold water streams in the Mississippi River/Lake Pepin Watershed. The installation of these BMPs will also protect the existing stream habitat by reducing peak flows and reduced streambank erosion.
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.
Over the past two years, Dakota County has learned that many properties within the city do not have septic system records identifying the presence or condition of their septic system, and anecdotal evidence that some are failing. The County will use CWF Accelerated Implementation Grant dollars to inventory and inspect all septic systems within the City of Randolph. As part of the inspection, a well inventory will also be conducted. Based on a preliminary assessment, there are 105 properties that will require inspection.
Shattuck Saint Mary's, located atop of a bluff area upland of the east bank of the Straight River, encompasses a land area of 324 acres that contains over 16,426 miles of mild to extensively eroded ravines and gullies; many of which directly discharge to the Straight River. In addition to pollutant loads in runoff from the school's watershed and eroded ravines, banks and gullies, the Straight River also experiences pollutant loading from eroding stream banks in this reach; annual sediment loads average 1,962 tons per year.
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.
Spring Park watershed is over 225 acres. Most of the watershed has been fully developed into a variety of residential, commercial, and institutional land uses. Project funds would be utilized to conduct a watershed analysis with the goal of identifying pollutant load sources and potential areas for structural stormwater BMPs for future retro-fit projects to reduce instances of localized flooding, reduce peak storm flows, and improve the quality of stormwater runoff discharging into Crocker's Creek.
The project will develop, adopt, and implement an agricultural erosion control ordinance for Steele County. Project funds will be used to hire a consultant to assist in this endeavor to gather input from citizens, organize meetings and develop a draft ordinance. County staff will assist with organizing meetings, holding hearings, and the formal process of adopting the developed ordinance.
At almost 4,000 acres, Trout Brook is the largest subwatershed in the Capitol Region Watershed District and the City of Saint Paul. The restored stream is part of the 42 acre Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary project, whose goal is to return the area back to some resemblance of its pre-industrialized valley of stream floodplain and wetlands. Monitoring results within the corridor show that phosphorus, sediments, bacteria, lead and copper are the pollutants of most concern.
This project will improve surface water quality within the sediment degraded Trout Brook, a designated trout stream and tributary to the Cannon River. The project will focus on the installation of best management practices that will reduce the amount of sediment transport within the watershed. Approximately 20 practices will be installed through this project which will reduce an estimated 2,000 tons of sediment per year.