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GreenStep City Best Practices Environmental Management

Surface Water Quality
no. 19

Improve local water bodies.
  Best Practice Action 3      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]       [all actions]

Adopt and report on measurable, publicly announced surface water improvement targets for water bodies.

 
  • Gathering water quality data is a first step in setting improvement targets. This work can be done through the state's citizen volunteer monitoring programs for lakes and rivers, and through the Wetland Health Evaluation Program in the Twin Cities metro area.
  • The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) makes loans and grants to cities on an ongoing basis to protect and improve water quality in communities.
  • Organizations with which to work include a Lake Improvement District, a watershed district, a watershed management organization, a Soil and Water Conservation District, the county water planning office, a county ditch authority, Minnesota Extension, MN Dept. of Natural Resource, MN Pollution Control Agency, and Minnesota Waters.
  • Lake improvement targets include measures such as trophic state, pollutant levels (including TMDLs), storm/ditch drainages, health measures, water levels, invasive species, public access standards, noise pollution and recreational carrying capacity. See a 2003 carrying capacity study from Wisconsin's Lake Ripley.
  • The NEMO program (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) lists two dozen staff who are available to work with cities.
Work with other organizations to determine quantitative/qualitative targets for lakes, streams, wetlands.
Report at least annually to community members on targets - which must include more than TMDLs - and the status of achieving them. Report use of citizen volunteer lake/stream monitors and the Wetland Health Evaluation Program volunteer monitors.
Report at least three years improvements toward the targets.

Burnsville

Date completed/entered:   06/07/2012

Implementation details:
The City of Burnsville participates with the cities of Apple Valley, Lakeville, Eagan and Savage on the Black Dog Water Management Organization (BDWMO). The organization is active with surface water management issues in the areas of these cities covered by the BDWMO. The BDWMO covers 17,730 acres or 27.7 sq. miles and 72% of the watershed lies within the City of Burnsville. The City of Burnsville also has participants in CAMP. The Citizen-Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP) is an Metropolitan Council Environmental Services--managed program for which citizen volunteers monitor the water quality of Twin Cities metro area. A total of 160 CAMP lakes were monitored in 2005. In Burnsville, the following lakes are monitored: Alimagnet, Crystal, Earley, Keller, (South) Twin, Wood, and Sunset Pond. On a bi-weekly basis (April-October), each volunteer collects a surface water sample for laboratory analysis of total phosphorus, nitrogen, and chlorophyll-a, obtains a Secchi transparency measurement, and provides some user perception information about the lake's physical and recreational condition. The main purpose of CAMP is to provide the City with water quality information that will not only help us properly manage these resources, but will also help document water quality impacts and trends. Volunteers also increase their awareness of their lake's condition and some are even compelled to take a more active approach in protecting and managing their lakes. For over nine years, Burnsville citizen volunteers have monitored wetlands through the Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP), a nationally recognized program that operates primarily in Dakota and Hennepin Counties. Through the program, volunteer groups collect vital information about wetland health, including biological indicators such as vegetation and macroinvertebrates (tiny animals without backbones). Because of the programs strong protocol design and training, WHEP has been extremely successful at providing quality data to Burnsville and to the Pollution Control Agency. It also provides a unique educational experience for volunteers of all levels. For more information, visit the WHEP website. The City of Burnsville also works with Lake Associations within Burnsville to determine water quality goals. The water "grades", clarity levels, and other goals can be found in the Water Resources Management Plan attached. Additionally, the City publishes the status of water resources annually in the city newsletter, and also provides updates to the lake associations and watershed organizations.

Descriptive links: http://www.burnsville.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1520

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions

Minnetonka

Date completed/entered:   04/01/2014

Implementation details:
Since 1993, the City of Minnetonka has implemented a water quality monitoring program that includes routine monitoring of approximately 20 water bodies on a three-year cycle. Under the current program the monitoring data is evaluated and compared to established goals and standards. However, the monitoring program did not take the program a step further to identify BMPs to protect water quality. Recently, the City of Minnetonka was awarded $129,000 accelerated implementation grant funds from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). The clean water funds will be utilized to conduct water shed assessments of 14 selected water bodies. These assessments will be used to identify priority areas for the installation of best management practices; stormwater management; and water quality treatment efforts to protect or improve the water quality of the city’s natural resources. Additionally the identified BMs will be used to inform the city’s CIP program as well as identify practices to address known water quality issues of several impaired waters.

For more information contact:
Ashley Cauley (City staff)   |   amellgren@eminnetonka.com   |   952-939-8298

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Austin

Date completed/entered:   02/29/2012

Implementation details:
The City of Austin works closely with the Cedar River Watershed District and local conservation groups in promoting and facilitating citizen education and shoreland and water quality management.

For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Elected official)   |   jkanderson@gofast.am   |   507-433-1081

Partners:
City, CRWD

View All Austin Actions

Elk River

Date completed/entered:  

Implementation details:
The City of Elk River works extensively with the Lake Orono Improvement Association on events, shoreland and water management, and citizen education. Elk River's "Environment Bound" television show has featured episodes about improving Lake Orono's water quality.

For more information contact:
Kristin Mroz (City staff)   |   kmroz@elkrivermn.gov   |   763-635-1068

View All Elk River Actions

Maplewood

Date completed/entered:   03/22/2014

Implementation details:
In the Surface Waters Management plan the city lays out a goal of getting the impaired lakes within the area off of the Minnesota Pollution Control Impaired waters list. In March of 2014, city staff, along with other stakeholder presented at a public meeting on Wakefield lake and nutrient loading. In the presentation the city provided information on past project and future plans for how staff can reduce the phosphorus levels in Wakefield lake and the Phalen Casey chain of lakes. Provided is a link to that presentation. http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/documentcenter/view/10861

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1550

For more information contact:
Shann Finwall (City staff)   |   shann.finwall@ci.maplewood.mn.us   |   651-249-2304

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Rochester

Date completed/entered:   08/02/2011

Implementation details:
THE MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY (MPCA) PREPARES TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY REPORTS (TMDLs) THAT ASSIGN WASTE LOAD ALLOCATIONS (WLAs) FOR POLLUTANTS OF CONCERN TO POINT SOURCES DISCHARGING TO THE IMPAIRED WATER BODIES. THE CITY OF ROCHESTER IS A REGULATED POINT SOURCE BY VIRTURE OF ITS MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM (MS4) PERMIT AND MUST IMPLEMENT WASTE LOAD REDUCTIONS TO MEET THE WLA. AT THIS TIME, THROUGH ITS MS4 PERMIT, THE CITY OF ROCHESTER IS SUBJECT TO LOAD REDUCTIONS FOR FECAL COLIFORM BACTERIA. WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR, IT WILL ALSO BE SUBJECT TO LOAD REDUCTIONS FOR TURBIDITY.

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Saint Anthony

Date completed/entered:   05/05/2011

Implementation details:
The City of St. Anthony works with Three Rivers Park District, RCWD, MWMO, Ramsey Conservation District, and the Silver Lake Homeowners Association to acheive water quality improvements at Silver Lake. The City annually provides a public meeting to present and solicite public input into their surface water management activities.

For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff)   |   jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us   |   612-782-3314

View All Saint Anthony Actions

Shoreview

Date completed/entered:   05/01/2013

Implementation details:
Yes. The MS4 permit from the MN Pollution Control Agency regulates stormwater discharge within the City. Annual reports and updates are submitted to both the State and given a hearing before the City Council.

For more information contact:
Jessica Schaum (City staff)   |   jschaum@shoreviewmn.gov   |   651-490-4665

View All Shoreview Actions

White Bear Lake

Date completed/entered:   03/25/2013

Implementation details:
The City follows TMDL requirements of its 4 watersheds, and regularly works toward improving water quality, and reducing our load. TMDL loads are reported to the public in the City's storm water pollution prevention program. Water quality communication and education is provided to residents in the storm water pollution prevention program, as well as in our bi-annual environmental newsletter.

For more information contact:
Ellen Richter (City staff)   |   erichter@whitebearlake.org   |   651-429-8505

View All White Bear Lake Actions

Woodbury

Date completed/entered:   04/27/2013

Implementation details:
The City of Woodbury and the three watershed districts with jurisdiction in the city, Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District, South Washington Watershed District and Valley Branch Watershed District, all have adopted Surface Water Management Plans with goals for water bodies. The city has adopted numeric goals and reports the annual “lake grade” based on lake monitoring of the city lakes on the city website. The adopted goals should also be sufficient to address any impairments for lakes that are currently listed as impaired by the MPCA.

For more information contact:
Sharon Doucette (City staff)   |   sdoucette@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3538

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Rosemount

Date completed/entered:   03/07/2012

Implementation details:
The Wetland Health Evaluation Program engages citizen volunteers to help monitor wetlands in their community.

Descriptive links: www.mnwhep.org.             view file

For more information contact:
Jason Lindahl (City staff)   |   jason.lindahl@ci.rosemount.mn.us   |   651-322-2090

View All Rosemount Actions

Saint Cloud

Date completed/entered:   05/12/2011

Implementation details:
St. Cloud is an active member of the Central Minnesota Water Education Alliance (CMWEA) providing education outreach to promote water quality stewardship. It is a coalition of central Minnesota cities, counties and other organizations working in concert to provide consistent water quality educational message in a cost-effective manner. The ongoing public education campaign includes rain barrel sale, a video contest, a water blog, eco-graffiti, and a number of other innovative educational efforts.

Descriptive links: http://mnwaterconnection.com/index.php

For more information contact:
Matt Glaesman (City staff)   |   Matt.Glaesman@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   320-255-7218

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greenstep advisor
Daniel Petrik, Land Use Specialist, MN Dept. of Natural Resources: 651/259-5697, Daniel.Petrik@state.mn.us