As part of the Dakota County Transportation Department's highway 78 road reconstruction project, the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization is partnering with Dakota County to install a nitrate treatment practice on a tributary to the South Branch Vermillion River adjacent to the road. The South Branch Vermillion River subwatershed is the highest nitrate loading subwatershed in the Vermillion River Watershed and is a significant contributor to contaminated drinking water in the eastern portion of the watershed.
The purpose of this program is to engage community groups for the installation of community accessible rain gardens and other water quality best management practices in Ramsey County. The goal is to install 6-12 storm water best management projects that will help protect and improve water quality of surrounding lakes. The installed practices will reduce an estimated 10 acre-feet of storm water runoff, 9 pounds of phosphorous, and 3 tons of sediment annually. Significant measurable outputs, with development of long-term partnerships, are primary objectives for this program.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
The Plymouth Creek Restoration Project will improve water quality in Plymouth Creek and Medicine Lake, the creek's primary receiving water. The project will reduce total phosphorus and suspended sediment in Plymouth Creek and Medicine Lake stemming from streambank erosion. Streambank erosion is a common source of pollution, particularly in developed landscapes where flows in streams are considered flashy and can easily scour unprotected and disturbed streambanks.
This project engages private property owners including non-profits, businesses, and institutions, in the Harrison Neighborhood of Near North Minneapolis to install storm water best management practices. The BMPs will reduce pollution in Bassett Creek including chlorides and bacteria, for which the creek is impaired. The primary focus is on Glenwood Avenue, a focal point in the community and a highly impervious area.
The Carver County Planning and Water Management Department (PWM) has an active well sealing cost share program. Following the adoption of the updated County Groundwater Plan in February of 2016, the Carver County Board of Commissioners moved to accelerate the program to encourage landowners to seal abandoned wells. Carver County is looking to supplement existing funds, as demand is expected to increase. With this additional funding, it is the goal of Carver County PWM to seal an additional 15 wells county wide.
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.
Fish Lake is 238 acres and does not meet state water quality standards due to excessive nutrients. Through the Total Maximum Daily Load study, a recommendation was made to treat the lake with alum to achieve the state's water quality standards. The goal of this project is to reduce the phosphorus load to Fish Lake by 310 pounds per year and meet the needed phosphorus reduction goal. The project will be completed as a partnership between the Elm Creek Water Management Commission, Three Rivers Park District, the City of Maple Grove, and The Fish Lake Area Resident's Association.
The goal of this project is to adapt and expand the existing successful Master Water Stewards program to engage citizens and catalyze clean water projects in suburban, exurban and rural communities of Washington and southern Chisago Counties. As part of this project, 20 citizens' stewards will be recruited and trained to work in partnership with the Washington Conservation District and area watershed management organizations to implement clean water projects in identified priority areas.
Forest Lake Area Schools, the Rice Creek Watershed District and the City of Forest Lake have partnered to develop the first phase of a long-term stormwater reuse and education program starting. This project will result in stormwater pond retrofits and construction of new irrigation infrastructure to reduce potable groundwater usage by over 4 million gallons per year. Further, educational curriculum will be developed to integrate the reuse technology and water conservation concepts. Clear Lake is an important regional resource and boasts a very active lake association.
The purpose of this project is to conduct a subwatershed assessment of that part of the City of Minneapolis that is within the Shingle Creek watershed. This subwatershed drains to three Impaired Waters: Crystal Lake, Ryan Lake, and Shingle Creek. The assessment will identify the most feasible and cost-effective best management practices for retrofit in this densely urban, fully developed subwatershed. The project includes workshops with neighborhood organizations to help them educate residents and organize implementation projects.
Both Minnehaha Creek and Lake Hiawatha are on the State Impaired Waters List and have had Total Maximum Daily Load Studies completed. The proposed work would focus on park land along Minnehaha Creek which is a highly-recreated corridor with public trail systems throughout. In 2014, the District experienced record flooding resulting in substantial erosion and tree loss along Minnehaha Creek. In 2015, the District completed an assessment of flood damage and received FEMA funding for bank repair at 31 sites along the Creek within Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board property.
Little Lake Johanna is not meeting state water quality standards due to excessive phosphorus. The Rice Creek Watershed District, in partnership with the City of Roseville, will improve the water quality of stormwater runoff into Little Lake Johanna through installation of an iron-enhanced sand filter. The Oasis Pond Iron-Enhanced Sand Filter Project will annually remove approximately 34 pounds of phosphorus from runoff to Little Lake Johanna annually. This is equal to nearly 20% of the needed load reduction as established by the Southwest Urban Lakes Total Maximum Daily Load Study.
Golden Lake does not meet state water quality standards due to high phosphorus levels. The proposed iron enhanced sand filter basin was identified in the Golden Lake Subwatershed Stormwater Retrofit Analysis to be one of the most cost effective remaining practices for reducing external phosphorus loads to Golden Lake. This project, paired with two previously installed upstream Best Management Practices, will achieve on average, 84% of the phosphorus reduction goal for the watershed.
Ramsey County, the most densely populated county in Minnesota, generates high levels of contaminated runoff from its impervious surfaces. When contaminants drain into abandoned and unused wells, it threatens the health of Ramsey County citizens who depend on groundwater as their main potable water source.
Ramsey County, the most densely populated county in Minnesota, generates high levels of contaminated runoff from its impervious surfaces, which can have damaging effects on both surface water and groundwater. Concerns arise when these contaminants drain into abandoned and unused wells, threatening the quality of groundwater, especially in drinking water supply areas, wellhead protection areas, or groundwater recharge zones.
Seven lakes and four streams in the Elm Creek watershed are impaired by excess nutrients, bacteria, low oxygen, and unhealthy biotic communities. Modeling completed for the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy identified areas that contribute high loads of sediment and nutrients to the streams and lakes in the watershed, however, the scale of that modeling was not sufficient to pinpoint to the field level where BMPs would be most effective. The Rush Creek Headwaters Subwatershed Assessment will evaluate four high pollutant loading catchments.
The project is part of the Six Mile-Halsted Bay Subwatershed Plan, a planning partnership currently underway which aims to protect and improve natural resources within this priority subwatershed by working closely with partnering agencies to integrate capital investments and maximize public return on investment. This project will enhance two existing stormwater ponds to enhance treatment of phosphorus as well as incorporate treatment of the Church Lake outlet, a lake which routinely fails to meet state water quality standards and contributes to the water quality impairment of East Auburn.
The Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment is seeking funds to conduct countywide records catalog and subsequent risk analysis of subsurface sewage treatment systems, or septic systems, in the county. The records catalog will involve the collection, digitization and review of historical permit records from 1972-2004. The risk analysis will utilize information from the historical review, in addition to other pertinent available data.
In partnership with Metro Blooms, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) will implement stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) at a minimum of six properties along commercial nodes targeted for re-investment by the City of Minneapolis' Business District Support program.
The Ramsey Conservation District is partnering with the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization, St. Paul Regional Water Service, and Ramsey County Parks and Recreation to restore and stabilize approximately 550 linear feet of streambank along the Sucker Lake Channel in northeastern Ramsey County with a cost effective critical area planting, replacing the existing mix of turf grass and asphalt streambank with a native vegetation planting.
The Mississippi River is currently listed as impaired for turbidity. Eroding riverbanks are one of the causes of this impairment. An inventory was completed in 2016 of riverbank condition along 5.8-miles of the Mississippi River that is within the City of Ramsey. In this inventory, ten severe to very severe eroding stretches spanning 27 private properties and 6,550 linear feet were identified. Cumulatively, these sites contribute 5,148 tons of sediment per year to the river.
Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment seeks to continue a 100% cost share assistance well sealing program. County residents rely on groundwater for 100% of their drinking water. Sealing unused wells has long been a priority for the county, as they are a potential threat to health, safety, and the environment. The presence of several groundwater contamination areas only highlights the need to seal off these unused wells.