MORRISON COUNTY LOCAL WATER PLAN UPDATE

 

Below is the Final Proposed 5-Year Focus Plan (LWP) Morrison County and Morrison Priority Minor Watersheds (including additional documents). 

Public Hearing took place on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at the Morrison County Government Center.

Agency comment have been received and incorporated into the “Final Draft”.

The “Final Draft” was presented to the BWSR Regional Committee on

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Brainerd, MN, and recommended for approval.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:

 

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Local Water Plan Meeting Notice:

 

The next Local Water Plan Meeting will be…

Late Fall   (Date TBD)

(Morrison County Government Center, Meeting Room I)

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MORRISON COUNTY WATER PLAN                        ALSO READ ABOUT

                                                                                                                       (CLICK BELOW)

The first or “original” Morrison County Comprehensive Local Water Plan was                                What is the Long Prairie River Watershed Project?

completed and adopted in 1990.  Implementation of the plan began immediately.                             The Long Prairie River Watershed covers approx.

Under the second and third plans we began collaborating and doing some pilot                                 862 square miles in the central part of the Upper

projects that have now become standard practice.  The third generation plan                                     Mississippi River Basin in central Minnesota. The

expired in 2008.  This 4th generation plan, while shorter in length will attempt                                 watershed encompasses……

to capture our multi-year accomplishments and detail the goals yet to be achieved

and/or continued.

 

The Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) assumed the task of the local water plan update                    (CLICK HERE)

in April of 2009.  It had previously been administered by the Planning and Zoning office but staff changes                                TO SEE

and budget considerations compelled the county to make some changes.   The Board of Water and Soil                                    AND PRINT

Resources (BWSR) had granted an extension until May 2010 and therefore the timeframe for completion                           CITIZEN SURVEY

required escalated planning.  The convening of task force members had to begin again, since the former

committee had dissolved.

Initially, a survey had been sent out to all lake associations, agencies, and townships soliciting input, as well as published in the local newspaper with a circulation of over 30,000.  Radio spots were used to inform citizens of where and how to submit comments.  All agencies came to the table, recognizing the collaborative planning process had diminished in recent years.  It was important to capture what had been accomplished from the last plan, and how we should focus our resources for the next decade.  The county board appointed citizen members. The attendance twice monthly was very positive and reflected the support the water plan had once had, and would have again.

 

It was apparent that the water resource managers, lake associations, agencies, etc. desired a source of leadership.  It will be the focus of this plan to provide guidance and coordination to all resource protection efforts as well as a format for sharing the information to the public.

 

Since the Local Water Plan by resolution can be the District’s comprehensive plan, it now will truly encompass our district goals as well as the goals of comprehensive water planning.

This plan will encompass the County as a whole, cities included, so that all agencies and units of government have a common focus on how to best utilize our resources in a conscientious manner that serves the needs of citizens, but preserves the resources for future generations.

 

Further, goals set are with a watershed approach, collaborating with our neighboring counties, recognizing that the boundaries of the County do not confine the impacts we all have on a water resource.  The task force felt strongly about the need to identify and protect the water bodies that are not “impaired” and therefore give as much or more emphasis to those waters (listed separately in this document.

 

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PURPOSE OF LOCAL WATER PLANNING

 

The Local Water Planning purpose by statute has not wavered in 20 years.

  • To identify existing and potential problems and opportunities for the protection, management, and development of water and related land resources; and
  • Develop objectives and carry out a plan of action to promote sound hydrologic management of water and related land resources, effective environmental protection and efficient management.

 

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*               2010 Water Plan               *               Scoping Document               *

 

Note:  These files are quite large and may take some time to download.

***   Staff are Currently Re-Writing the Water Plan   *

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“It is time now to take action, as individuals and as a state, to leave a legacy of clean, safe, affordable water for ourselves, and for future generations of Minnesotans.”

                                                                                            -Governor Mark Dayton

 

Governor Dayton encouraged all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations. The Governor called on Minnesotans to affirm their commitment to rethinking how water impacts daily life and the lives of future generation; use water efficiently and wisely in everyday activities; learn more about what individuals can do to protect and preserve water; make informed consumer choices; and to talk to one another about water protection and preservation.

(CLICK HERE to be routed to “Year of Water Action in MN” Page…)

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 YEAR OF WATER ACTION:      THEMES BY MONTH…

August 2016………..A Year of Water Action Kickoff- Conserve, Protect, Clean and Enjoy!

September 2016……..We All Live Downstream: Understanding Where Clean Water Comes From

October 2016…………Clean Water Challenges & Solutions in the Twin Cities

November 2016………Clean Water Challenges & Solutions in Greater Minnesota                                      NEWS RELEASE:     CLICK HERE…..

December 2016………Winter ways to Take Action for Clean Water                                                         “Morrison County Targeted Township

January 2017………..Clean Water Creates a Healthy Minnesota                                                                 Testing Program (2013 Summary)” 

February 2017……….Minnesota Innovations in Clean Water Practices and Technology

March 2017………….Impacts of Climate Change on Minnesota Water

April 2017………………Sustainable Practices for Clean Water

May 2017………………Keep our Waters Swimmable & Fishable

June 2017……………..Clean Water is Good for Our Economy

July 2017………………A Year of Water Action for A Future Generation

August 2017…………..A Year of Water Action in Review

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County Geologic Atlases

The County Geologic Atlas provides information essential to sustainable management of ground water resources, for applications such as monitoring, water allocation, permitting, remediation, and well construction.  They define aquifer properties and boundaries, as well as the connection of aquifers to the land surface and to surface water resources.  They also provide a broad range of information on county geology, mineral resources (including construction materials), and natural history.  A complete atlas consists of a Part A prepared by Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) that includes the water well database and 1:100,000 scale geologic maps showing properties and distribution of sediments and rocks in the subsurface, and a Part B constructed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Waters that includes maps of water levels in aquifers, direction of groundwater flow, water chemistry, and sensitivity to pollution.  Atlases are usually initiated by a request from a county and an offer to co-fund or provide in-kind service.  MGS is committed to the expeditious completion and periodic updating of atlases statewide.  GEOLOGIC ATLAS USER’S GUIDE is a document intended for people that don’t have training in geology or hydrology.  Every Minnesotan uses water, and every Minnesotan has an effect on water, so we all have a role and an interest in how that resource is distributed, how it is used, and how we affect its quality and availability.  The purpose of this Guide is to explain, through reference to County Geologic Atlas products, where our water comes from, how geology and climate control its distribution, and how we can manage water to maximize its availability at the highest quality.

The digital data for the Morrison County Geologic Atlas is now posted to the MGS website.  You can access the files via this link:  http://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/11299/163021   Here you will find PDF versions of each of the paper plates as well as a folder of all of the digital GIS files.

NOTE:  Part B Hydrogeology will be published separately by the MN Department of Natural Resources.  Expected delivery date will be 2016.

 
 

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EDUCATION

 

ANNUAL MORRISON COUNTY

6th GRADE WATER FESTIVAL

 

Conducted annually in the spring and established in 1993, the festival’s purpose is to create a better awareness of conservation and water resources through education.  The program is designed to increase the knowledge, skills and attitudes of all 6th grade students in relation to the importance of caring for the environment in which they live. We feel that the Water Festival is a fun and exciting way for students to learn more about the importance of conservation, clean water and the hydrologic cycle. This two-day event is a cooperative effort of various agencies and partners, with over 420 students attending annually.

 

Next Morrison Soil and Water District’s “Water Festival

Date TBD…

 

For the 21st consecutive year, the annual sixth grade Water Festival will be held at Camp Ripley.  Funded through the Morrison County Comprehensive Water Plan, it is one of the longest running educational projects held each year.

 

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The Local Water Plan is approved by the Minnesota Board of Water Resources and by resolution, adopted by the County. The plan defines how and what will be done to protect water quality in Morrison County.  Since 2009, the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation district has administered the plan.

Welcoming the students to Camp Ripley were Post Operations Officer Major Joseph Saganoo and Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Helen McLennan.

The Water Festival is a two-day event and is attended by sixth grade classes from Little Falls, Pierz, Swanville, and Upsala schools.  Learning stations are presented by the Soil and Water Conservation District, Morrison County Staff, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Minnesota Department of Military Affairs, the Minnesota Science Museum, Minnesota Department of Health, the City of Little Falls, and the City of Royalton.

Learning sessions include Conservation Jeopardy, Groundwater Resources, Wildlife and Habitat, Water Quality Indicators, The Water Cycle, and a tour of the Camp Ripley waste water treatment plant. 

The overall goal is to have students learn in a fun and exciting way what their role is in conservation stewardship of water and other natural resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Festival 2013 4Water Festival 2013 3Water Festival 2013 1

 

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CLICK HERE  > > >

to view larger  > >

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Nitrate Testing

Map Results

 

NITRATE TESTING

 

Two times every year, Morrison SWCD offers FREE nitrate testing of your well water.

Morrison SWCD staff will complete the testing of your nitrates.

At that time, we ask that you complete a short survey regarding your well construction and location.

This information will assist the county in gaining better knowledge of our underground water.

The nitrate test and survey only takes a few minutes to complete.  CLICK HERE to view and/or print survey.

 

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NEXT NITRATE TESTING CLINIC:

Monday, May 8th thru Friday, May 12th, 2017

8:00 am to 4:00 pm

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Previous Nitrate Clinic Test Results

Conducted: May 9 – 13, 2016

239 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 165 Samples or 69%

5 – 9.9ppm = 39 Samples or 16%

> 10.0ppm = 35 Samples or 15%

Conducted: October 5 – 9, 2015

84 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 64 Samples or 76%

5 – 9.9ppm = 13 Samples or 15%

> 10.0ppm = 7 Samples or 8%

Conducted: May 11 – 15, 2015

88 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 60 Samples or 68%

5 – 9.9ppm = 11 Samples or 13%

> 10.0ppm = 17 Samples or 19%

Conducted: October 6 – 10, 2014

41 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 22 Samples or 53%

5 – 9.9ppm = 8 Samples or 20%

> 10.0ppm = 11 Samples or 27%

Conducted: May 12 – 16, 2014

46 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 25 Samples or 54%

5 – 9.9ppm = 10 Samples or 22%

> 10.0ppm = 11 Samples or 24%

Conducted: October 7 – 11, 2013

61 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 34 Samples or 56%

5 – 9.9ppm = 17 Samples or 28%

> 10.0ppm = 10 Samples or 16%

Conducted: April 29 – May 3, 2013 and May 6 – 10, 2013

239 Water Samples / Wells Tested

0 – 4.9ppm = 165 Samples or 69%

5 – 9.9ppm = 39 Samples or 16%

> 10.0ppm = 35 Samples or 15%

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CLICK HERE to read more about the Central Sands Private Well Monitoring Network…… In the spring of 2011, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) began the Central Sands Private Well Monitoring Network. During the first year, MDA coordinated the random sampling of 1,555 private drinking water wells throughout Central Minnesota and samples were analyzed for nitrate nitrogen. Home owners from 14 counties participated in this project which was supported by the Clean Water Fund. Over 88.6 percent of the wells sampled had nitrate concentrations less than 3 mg/L, 6.8 percent of the wells ranged from 3-10 mg/L of nitrate and 4.6 percent were greater than 10 mg/L of nitrate as nitrogen. Older, shallower wells tended to have a higher percentage of nitrate results above 10 mg/L. The data collected in 2011 was used to determine current nitrate concentrations, determine areas of concern, and to develop a long-term trend network.

 

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What is Nitrate?
 
Nitrate (NO3) is a naturally occurring chemical made of nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrate is found in air, soil, water, and plants. Much of the nitrate in our environment comes from decomposition of plants and animal wastes. People also add nitrate to the environment in the form of fertilizers.
 
 
Why Test For Nitrates?
 
Nitrate is the most common pollutant found in rural wells in Morrison County. Nitrate in drinking water presents a serious problem for infants up to about six months of age, and for pregnant women. Too much nitrate in infants can reduce the amount of oxygen carried by blood. This is known as “Blue Baby Syndrome.”
 
 
How Much Nitrate is Too Much?
 
The state Health Risk Limit for nitrate is 10 mg/L of nitrate-nitrogen, which provides newborns with reasonable protection against blue baby syndrome. This level is mandatory for all public water systems, and recommended for private wells.
 
 
How Do I Test My Well For Nitrates?
 
Step 1 –   Allow your faucet to run for approximately 2 minutes.
 
Step 2 –  Collect a sample of water in a new, resealable, plastic bag.
                                                                                    (approx. 1 cup)
 
Step 3 –  Bring sample to the Morrison SWCD to be tested for nitrates.
 
Step 4 – SWCD Staff will test your water for nitrate.
 
Step 5 – Landowner will complete a short SURVEY regarding your well construction and location. CLICK HERE.
 
 
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Who can I contact to have additional tests completed on my well water?
 
Morrison County Public Health provides testing kits for you to pick up in the basement of the Government Center. (213 1st Ave. SE)
 
1. Choose which certified laboratory you would like to deliver your test kit to.
 
2. Choose what you want your water to be tested for. (Nitrates, Coliform Bacteria, Arsenic, Lead, Fluoride, Iron, Manganese, Hardness, Sulfate) 
 
3. Prices vary, but usually fall in the range of $20 – $40.
 
4. Follow the instructions on the test kit.
 
5. Personally deliver the kit to the certified laboratory of your choice.
 
 
CLICK HERE….. To view a list of all STATE-CERTIFIED LABORATORIES. (MDH Certified Environmental Laboratories)  Be sure that the laboratory you choose is state certified to perform each test you want.

 

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For more information, CLICK HERE to visit the Minnesota Department of Health Website

 

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PROTECT OUR

PRECIOUS WATER

 

“Sealing Your Unused Well”

 

Video Published on Jan 8, 2014

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKS4OknlYO4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUzyev_TJ-jgpqIBhsEn4QDg

This video shows the highlights on the need to protect our drinking water by having old, unused wells, permanently sealed.

Unused or “abandoned” wells can be a threat to our drinking water supplies, public health and safety.

Minnesotans can do their part to protect and preserve our drinking water by having their unused wells properly sealed by a licensed well contractor.

The video features a well owner, two local well contractors and a hydrologist from the MDH.

In many areas well sealing grant money is available to help well owners pay a portion of the costs.