Demand for Engineering services in Northeast Minnesota's nine-county Area III Technical Service Area is exceeding the capacity to deliver the needed services. There are increased requests from Soil and Water Conservation Districts for engineering needed to design and install Best Management Practices in part due to requests related to Clean Water Fund projects. These funds will be used to hire an engineer, which will increase engineering capacity and result in the completion of at least five additional projects per year.
Improved levels of civic engagement and community participation in support for the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) processes in the St. Louis River, Lake Superior South, and Cloquet River Watersheds. Monitoring plans and compiled field data will be provided and summarized that will aid in the future completion of Total Maximum Daily Load Reports (TMDLs) in these watersheds and in the Lake Superior North Watershed.
St. Louis County's Comprehensive Water Management Plan Update 2010-2020 identifies providing financial assistance to qualifying homeowners to upgrade or replace failing septic systems as a Priority 2 action. Funds from the FY-16 Clean Water Fund Projects and Practices Grant will be used to provide funding to low-income homeowners to repair or replace SSTS identified as Imminent Threat to Public Health (ITPH) within the following watersheds: Lake Superior South, St.
This project will create a culvert inventory database for county and township roads in the southwest portion of St. Louis County that contains the St. Louis River watershed. Data will be used by the County Public Works Department to identify and prioritize stream crossings in need of replacement or increasing upstream storm water retention to reduce the potential for culvert failure during large runoff events, factoring in stream health (fish habitat and passage, sediment transport and hydrologic connection) while protecting infrastructure.
The project’s first phase includes development and implementation of a sampling plan to investigate stormwater quality within impervious areas; soil borings to determine the soil type; a topographical survey to determine drainage patterns and infrastructure locations; and data gathering of existing infrastructure. A season-long stormwater quality monitoring program will monitor stormwater within the drainage areas that flow directly to the storm sewer, including monitoring of roof runoff and overland flow to determine potential pollutant sources and mitigation options.
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.