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 sixth largest fresh water lake in the United States, Lake of the Woods has sustained significant shoreline erosion through a number of high water events, high inflows from the Rainy River, sustained strong NW winds, and erodible soils on the southern shore. This project implements strategies to protect and enhance private shoreline on the lake by addressing long-term shoreline management.
The Lake of the Woods (LOW) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study will: (1) identify water quality goals for the Minnesota portions of the LOW/Rainy River Watershed; (2) recommend nutrient allocations to achieve TMDLs where waters do not meet standards; and (3) provide opportunities for stakeholders to engage in the process of watershed-management planning to adopt protection and restoration strategies. The project will include existing in-lake and watershed model updates, TMDL component development, restoration plan development, and public participation.
This monitoring work expands on previously established routine water quality and flow sampling to include extensive fish and aquatic invertebrate surveys. Subsequent steps include assessment of the monitoring data to determine impairments, identification of stressors that are causing impairments, development of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies using identification of pollutant sources using computer modeling and other techniques, civic engagement, and public education as approaches in progress towards water quality goals.
Locating the sources of sediment, phosphorus, and bacteria is integral to reducing the effect they have on a water body. The completion of the West Fork Des Moines River (WFDMR) Targeting and Prioritizing Endeavor will result in a set of data that is the most cost-effective for the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all identified priority resources. The results will be expressed as the maximum reduction of a water quality contaminant (e.g. sediment, phosphorus, bacteria) at a priority resource (e.g. an impaired stream) for a given level of investment.