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.
Crow Wing County, in cooperation with the municipalities within the County, plans to continue its successful well sealing program that pays 50% of the cost to seal unused/abandoned wells up to a maximum of $1000 per well. The amount of funding requested is $31,000 which is estimated to allow for the sealing of 80-100 wells. From 2012 to 2015, Crow Wing County sealed 65 wells as part of an earlier MDH well sealing grant from the Clean Water Fund. Priority will be given to wells located in or near existing wellhead protection areas.
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.
The goal of this project is to refine the segmentation, extend the simulation period, and recalibrate an existing Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Rum River Watershed.
Lake George is the premier recreational lake in Anoka County with above average water quality, a vibrant fishery, and a large regional park and beach that is among the most utilized in the county. Located in northwestern Anoka County within the Upper Rum River Watershed Management Organization (URRWMO), the Lake George Improvement District (LGID) was formed to tend to the lake's diminishing water quality and problematic invasive species.
This project will install practices to improve water quality in Long Lake, Isanti Co. We will install at least 350 linear feet of restored lakeshore and 3,000 sq ft of native plant stormwater treatment with an emphasis on bioengineering techniques, native plants and locating buffers/swales/rain gardens at points of concentrated overland flow into the lake. By targeting properties that are eroding and/or with concentrated overland flow to the lake we will reduce suspended solids discharge by 6,300 lbs/yr and phosphorus by 0.6 lbs/yr.
This project will focus on Watershed Restoration and Protetion Strategy (WRAPS) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report development for the Rum River Watershed, which includes Mille Lacs Lake (the second largest lake in Minnesota) and the Rum River of which Mille Lacs Lake is the headwaters. The project will produce a plan that partners and citizens will be able to implement, a framework for citizen engagement, and a set of watershed management activities that will achieve water quality standards for all impairments within the watershed.
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.