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.
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.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in in the 67 counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
This project will decrease peak flows and associated water quality issues such as sediment and phosphorus on County Ditch 68, Mud Lake, and Fountain Lake. Practices include a 40-acre storage and treatment wetland, two cropped and altered wetland restorations of an acre each, converting 32 acres of cropland to perennial cover, and two grade stabilization structures.
This project will fully fund three Nonpoint Engineering Assistance (NPEA) Joint Powers Board positions in cooperation with the NPEA Base Funding anticipated at $130,000 per year. This will allow a 2nd Professional Engineer to be retained in addition to a Lead Engineer and Technician. This 'accelerated' engineering previously was funded with BWSR Challenge Grants, and an EPA319 grant with corresponding BWSR CWF Matching Grant to handle the high workload associated with the large number of BWSR feedlot cost-share projects approved in South East Minnesota.
This project will extend two Feedlot Technical positions initially created and funded by a FY2011 CWF Feedlot Water Quality Grant that assess and help fix animal waste runoff from small feedlots. The technicians will work with and under the Technical Authority and priorities of the South East Soil and Water Conservation District Tech Support JPB lead Engineer. This project will enable more projects to be constructed resulting in a reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in South East Minnesota and the Mississippi River.
The nine member Counties and Soil and Water Conservation Districts of the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) will be able to enhance our effectiveness to provide elevated levels of technical assistance, education and outreach in the areas of urban stormwater, wellhead protection, nutrient management, conservation agronomy, drainage and agricultural best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Blue Earth, Le Sueur and Watonwan River Watersheds.
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.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
The Lower Mississippi River Feedlot Management in MN project will be leveraging State funding from BWSR to provide match for a United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) Regional Conservations Partners Program (RCPP). BWSR will provide technical and financial assistance to plan and design projects to mitigate feedlot runoff from smaller (less than 300 animal units or AUs*), open lot feedlots in southeastern Minnesota.
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.
This project will assist farmers across Southeast Minnesota by providing guidance on management of nutrient sources including livestock manure, commercial fertilizers, and legumes. This project is important because excess nutrients and bacteria are causing negative impacts to the quality of waters. Two Nutrient Management Specialists will work one-on-one with farmers to develop 70 plans each year. Over time, it is anticipated that the number of new nutrient management plans will decrease as acres with plans increase.
Within an 11-county area in southeastern Minnesota, two Nutrient Management Specialists will work directly with producers to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in the region and the Mississippi River. The specialists will help producers create or revise nutrient management plans, implement Best Management Practices for manure and fertilizer use, and set up on-farm demonstration projects to support farmer-to-farmer learning.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin is a large area within the Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Blue Earth River watersheds. Recent research by University of Minnesota, the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and others has found this basin to be the largest contributor of sediment to Lake Pepin.
The purpose of this project is to provide a new shared position in southeast Minnesota which will accelerate the adoption of soil health practices by leveraging the existing efforts of the National Resources Conservation Service and other organizations.
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.
Imminent Health Threat (IHT) systems are those that are discharging improperly treated human waste onto the ground surface or into surface waters. In addition to the potential water quality impacts, untreated sewage has the potential to introduce bacteria and viruses into the environment. When IHT systems are identified, county or city staff assist the homeowners through the process required to bring their systems into compliance with the septic ordinance.
Successful long-term treatment of sewage depends on a system capable of providing adequate treatment and effective on-going operation and maintenance. Clean Water Fund Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) Program Enhancement funds are used by counties to strengthen programs dedicated to SSTS ordinance management and enforcement. These funds are used for a variety of tasks required to successfully implement a local SSTS program including inventories, enforcement, and databases to insure SSTS maintenance reporting programs.
The Le Sueur Watershed Technician will provide highly focused targeting of conservation programs and practices in this key watershed. The technician will enhance current staff capabilities in the Le Sueur watershed by collecting landowner contact information, producing landowner mailings about funding opportunities, and meeting one-on-one with landowners to discuss conservation concerns they may have. This has been a highly successful method for targeting projects, project identification, landowner contact, and project follow through.
Turbidity and sediment yield from the Le Sueur River watershed to the Minnesota River is a problem. Studies have shown that 200,000 tons/yr come from non-field sources and 25,000 tons/yr come from field sources. With this grant we will develop strategies to reduce sediment yield from the Freeborn County Cobb River Ditch subwatershed.
This area of the Minnesota River Basin has been identified as contributing significant amounts of sediment to the watershed. The primary cause of the sediment is from gullies and ravines. This project by the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) continues efforts begun with FY2011 Clean Water Funds. Using data collected through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and LiDAR, GERBA will install best management practices to address severe ravines and gullies in targeted specific locations.
To be able to manage resources in the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Watersheds into the future and have a positive effect on water quality, resource managers need high quality accurate data to support decision making of best management practice (BMP) implementation. Digital elevation data is a valuable resource for modeling water flow, however in its current state it cannot represent water conveyance through features such as roadways. These flow barriers limit the accurate use of data for recently developed targeting tools identifying BMP suitability and effectiveness down to the field scale.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA), a nine County/SWCD JPO has identified buffers as a basin priority. This initiative will work towards the goal of identifying all DNR protected shoreland in the GBERBA counties without a 50 foot vegetative buffer. Buffer strips protect surface and groundwater from a multitude of pollutants. During stormwater run off events buffers can remove between 50 and 100 percent of nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and sediment. The estimated sediment reduction for this project is 756 tons per year prevented from entering our waters.
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.