Contact: Sam Brungardt, 651-757-2249
St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is requesting comments on the draft water quality improvement report for Reitz Lake in Carver County. The report summarizes a study, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), that focused on pollution in the lake caused by excess nutrients. The public comment period begins July 12 and continues through Aug. 11, 2010.
This is the second public comment period for this TMDL due to changes made to the original draft report. Those changes included an increase in the overall needed reduction in pollutant loading as well as revisions in the pollution allocations among the contributing sources.
Reitz Lake is a 90-acre lake east of Waconia. It has a watershed of 3,529 acres, with agriculture being the dominant land use. The lake has been placed on Minnesota’s list of impaired waters because its suitability for recreational use is limited due to excess phosphorus. While phosphorus is an essential nutrient for algal and aquatic plant growth, it is considered a pollutant when it causes algae to grow too abundantly. This excessive growth significantly affects Reitz Lake’s suitability for swimming as well as its aesthetics and usefulness as wildlife habitat.
The draft TMDL calls for phosphorus reductions for Reitz Lake. The phosphorus is transported to the lake in runoff from agricultural lands, feedlots, lawns and other urban surfaces, and failing septic systems. Phosphorus in the runoff that reaches the lake must be reduced if excessive growth of algae is to be reduced.
Based on a study of 2004 data, it was determined that the annual phosphorus load to Reitz Lake during the summer growing season is 608 kilograms (kg). Of this, external sources contribute about 520 kg. Nutrient recycling in the lake contribute the remaining 88 kg.
The draft TMDL report for the lake is based on a water quality goal of 40 micrograms of phosphorus per liter, the standard for deep lakes in Minnesota’s North Central Hardwood Forest Eco-region. Phosphorus loading into and within Reitz Lake must be reduced 73 percent to achieve the water quality goal during the summer growing season. To achieve the reduction in phosphorus loading to the lake, Carver County will rely largely on its Water Management Plan, which calls for the Carver Soil and Water Conservation District to implement best management practices within the watershed. Also, the stormwater pollution prevention programs for the city of Waconia and Laketown Township will need to include measures for controlling nutrient loading to Reitz Lake.
After receiving comments, the MPCA will revise the draft report and submit it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval. After the EPA approves the study, a plan will be developed to reduce phosphorus pollution of the lake.
The Reitz Lake draft TMDL report is available for review at the MPCA office, 520 Lafayette Road N. in St. Paul, and on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/tmdl-draft.html.
Written comments on the draft TMDL report should be submitted to Chris Zadak, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194. They must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. Anyone who has questions about the review and comment process may call Zadak at 651-757-2837 or 1-800-657-3864, or e-mail him at Chris.Zadak@state.mn.us.
Written comments must include (1) a statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report; (2) a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and (3) specific reasons supporting your position.
More information on Minnesota’s impaired water list and TMDL studies is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html.