This project combines the use of automated soil moisture probes for irrigation scheduling with diverse cover crop planting to reduce or eliminate leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients on cropland with an early season harvested crop in the rotation. The more efficient use of irrigation waters provides a secondary benefit: less withdrawal from the aquifers that provide recharge for the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer.
This project will reduce phosphorus loading from the watershed tributary to Silver Lake. The project includes a combination of structural water quality improvements in the SLV-10 subwatershed north of the lake, retrofits (including iron enhanced sand filtration) to the Silver Lake bioretention basin, small scale best management practices (BMPs) throughout the watershed, and educational signage in Joy Park. The elements of this project will reduce phosphorus loading to Silver Lake by a combined 15 pounds per year or 40% of the current watershed load.
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.