Public meetings planned on water quality in St. Clair Lake

Contact: Dan Olson, 218-846-8108

Detroit Lakes, Minn.— The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will host two meetings on Oct. 23 to share information about a water quality study and plans for reducing phosphorous levels in St. Clair Lake. The goal is to improve water quality in St. Clair Lake (located near Detroit Lakes) sufficiently that the lake can be removed from the state’s impaired waters list.

The meetings will be held at the MPCA office at 714 Lake Ave. in Detroit Lakes in the main floor meeting room at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The meetings are expected to last about an hour and half.

Excess phosphorous in St. Clair Lake is promoting the overgrowth much algae and vegetation that makes the lake less suitable for swimming and fishing. A Total Maximum Daily Load Study (TMDL) was conducted to research all the sources of phosphorous in the lake’s watershed. The study, which will be available in early November, also identified where phosphorous reductions will have the greatest impact on restoring the lake.

The study found that phosphorous loads into the lake need to be reduced by 24 percent overall in order for the lake to eventually return to meeting the state standard. The two largest sources of phosphorous loading into the lake are from the City of Detroit Lakes wastewater treatment plant and city stormwater runoff.

The meeting will cover the TMDL study design, process, results and recommendations for how best to reduce phosphorous inputs to the lake. The meeting will also address the roles of the MPCA, local watershed district and City of Detroit Lakes in this process.

A 30-day public comment period on the TMDL study will begin around November 3, 2014.

Questions about the meetings should be directed to Tim James at the MPCA Detroit Lakes office: 218-846-8103 or tim.james@state.mn.us.