The funds requested will provide Big Lake Township with the technical and financial assistance necessary to retrofit up to six locations for stormwater treatment practices within the direct drainage area of Birch Lake, an impaired water body which is very close to meeting state standards. The projects have been identified as high priority in several water quality plans including a TMDL, a subwatershed assessment, the County Water Plan and the Mississippi River (St. Cloud) WRAPS.
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.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (Wright SWCD) has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Waters (CROW), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Wright County Planning and Zoning on this bacterial impairment reduction project to bring feedlot operations into compliance in the targeted North Fork Crow River (NFCR) impaired Unnamed Creek watershed. An analysis of the NFCR TMDL for Bacteria, Nutrients, and Turbidity was done to determine the area to be prioritized for further review of livestock operations in order to reduce the E.
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 Benton SWCD is applying to use Clean Water funds to work with livestock producers in implementing a variety of BMPs including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects (water and sediment control basins, grade stabilization structures), extending buffers where appropriate to exceed state buffer laws, riparian pasture management and conversion to other uses, nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. Our goal is to reduce runoff from these sites and improve water quality within the Mayhew Lake and Big Elk Lake watersheds.
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.