The City of Myrtle is an unsewered community in Freeborn County. Thirty-one of thirty-two properties are connected to a community straight pipe, which discharges raw sewage into Deer Creek, a tributary of the Cedar River and are classified as an imminent threat to public health (ITPHS). This project will provide cost-share assistance to 28 low income property owners, who are connected to the City of Myrtle community straight pipe, for construction of individual subsurface sewage treatment systems.
The Faribault Soil and Water Conservation District will provide mini-grants to conservation-conscious community organizations who voluntarily construct best management practices that provide storage and treatment of stormwater runoff at its source.
County Ditch #8 (CD8) has been identified as an area of high erosion by the Freeborn County Drainage Authority and the Turtle Creek Watershed district. Project entails using conservation BMPs such as water and sediment control basins, grassed waterways, and alternative tile intakes to address gully and sheet and rill erosion concerns at the headwaters of CD8.
The Cedar River Watershed District was established in 2007 to identify and fix the water quality impairments in the Cedar River. After several years of monitoring and modeling, the district has developed the requisite background data to drill down on the 25 most crucial areas for targeted treatment. In 2015, a Capitol Improvement Plan was developed to prioritize and rank the most critical projects within the priority list. The District is requesting Clean Water Funding to implement the highest ranking projects, which are shovel ready for timely construction.
This project will place the Cedar River watershed on a sustainable and clearly understood implementation process for comprehensive water management. All people living in the watershed and all groups operating and managing land in the watershed, are responsible stakeholders in the effort. Objectives for this phase of the project include:
1. Develop a comprehensive watershed restoration and protection strategy.
2. Continue development of a more coordinated and comprehensive citizen participation process.
In the battle to make real progress in sediment reduction to Turtle Creek, buffer strips are on the defensive front lines, holding the land at its most critical point. Grass strips along waterways have long provided a catchment area for agricultural field runoff. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has developed guidance and performance standards that utilize the maximum amount of benefit when installed through that program. In recent years, the Turtle Creek Watershed residents have faced a difficult decision over whether or not to incorporate grass buffers on their farms.
This project will build upon existing planning and implementation efforts already taken on in the project area. The collection of existing information will be used to complement water information in support of a more successful and sustainable water quality improvement and protection implementation program. This will be achieved by active civic engagement activities throughout Phase I of this project.
In the summer of 2011, conservation practices were installed in the upper reaches of Dobbins Creek to stabilize eroding stream banks. We contracted with the non-profit Minnesota Conservation Corps to assist with the labor. The crew worked efficiently, the weather cooperated perfectly, and the project came together exactly as planned. The banks of Dobbins Creek were armored with native cedar trees and anchored to the banks. Once the project was complete, we cut the side slopes back to reduce future erosion in the newly protected banks.
Nitrogen is a serious problem in Minnesota's Mississippi River Basin and the Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will address this problem through saturated buffers. Nitrates have been linked to adverse health effects, and nitrogen is the leading cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Agriculture drainage through the use of tile drainage systems have been identified as the number one leading source of nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin.
Ninety percent of the land in Mower County is used for agriculture. The County ranks 10th and 13th in the State for corn and bean production, making much of the land vulnerable to erosion due to the planting of row crop. As a result, streams and ditches in the county see high sediment loads.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
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.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Ten of these small communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly into the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
This project will assure that buffer strip compliance is being followed throughout the system. It will identify areas that will work to keep excess sediment and nutrients out of the water and provide a good strategy for cleaning the water and reducing costs to the system long term. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to have dialogue with landowners along the entire ditch and communicate the importance of buffers and conservation practices such as detainment areas and catchment Best Management Practices that keep the soil out of the system.
The Cannon River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Rice County and joins the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream near Red Wing. The Upper Cannon, which encompasses 29% of the entire watershed, has been identified as a priority subwatershed.