The Snake River Watershed Management Board (SRWMB), working in concert with other local governmental units in within the watershed, will assist the MPCA, the project consultant, and other members of the Snake River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) technical team in the completion of tasks associated with this TMDL project. SRWMB, with assistance from members of the technical team (Kanabec Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Pine SWCD, Aitkin SWCD, and Mille Lacs SWCD) will provide the services to complete this TMDL project.
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.
This project will develop an effective transferable model to engage and educate watershed residents, stakeholders and others to better understand and protect watershed ecostystems through environmental monitoring, training, and formal and informal education programs in their local watershed. The project will build on the foundation of the existing Red River Basin River Watch program by strengthening three main activity areas: 1) curriculum integration and teacher training, 2) youth leadership and civic engagement, and 3) applied research collaboration and watershed science skills building.
This project will monitor nine locations in the major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) of the Lower Red River Basin. The stream outlet monitoring will provide the water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads. Staff from the Red River Watershed Management Board (RRWMB) will conduct the sampling, initially manage the data and provide the data to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for load calculations and import into the STORET data system.
The International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected in 2016 and 2017 and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.
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.