Comments sought for report on water pollution in St. Clair Lake

Contact: Dan Olson, 218-846-8108

Detroit Lakes, Minn. — A report about water pollution in St. Clair Lake just outside Detroit Lakes is open for public review and comment through Feb. 19, 2015.

Known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, this report focuses on pollution resulting from excess nutrients — mainly phosphorous — that cause excessive algae growth. Excess nutrient levels have placed St. Clair Lake on Minnesota’s list of impaired waters.

The report establishes the maximum amount of a pollutant the lake can receive on a daily basis and still meet water quality standards.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) study identifies all the sources of phosphorous in the watershed of the lake and notes which reductions will have the greatest impact on restoring the lake. Phosphorous loads into the lake need to be reduced by 24 percent in meeting the state standard.

After reviewing the comments it receives, the MPCA may revise the draft TMDL report before submitting it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

The St. Clair Lake TMDL draft report may be reviewed at the MPCA Detroit Lakes office, 714 Lake Ave., or online on the Otter Tail River Watershed webpage. Hard copies are also available at Detroit Lakes City Hall and the Pelican River Watershed District in Detroit Lakes.

Written comments on the draft report must include a statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report, 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 specific reasons supporting your position.

Written comments should be mailed to Tim James, MPCA, 714 Lake Ave., Ste, 220, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501, or sent by email to They must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2015.

For more information, contact James by email or by phone at 218-846-8103. More information is also available from Tera Geutter, Pelican River Watershed District administrator (phone 218-846-0436, or email

Information on Minnesota’s impaired waters list can be found on the MPCA's Impaired Waters and TMDLs webpage or by calling 800-657-3864.