Studies identify water quality problems and remedies for the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District

Contact: Mary Connor, 651-757-2629

According to a new report from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and its partner, the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD), parts of the RWMWD are polluted as a result of stormwater runoff, internal loading and stream bank erosion. In two lakes and two streams, pollution may inhibit recreational activities, harm aquatic insects and fish, or cause high levels of E. coli bacteria, which can be harmful to human health.

The MPCA has published a set of two reports on the RWMWD, and is seeking comments from the public on both. The first report, known as a TMDL, or Total Maximum Daily Load, establishes the amount of each pollutant that a water body can accept without exceeding water quality standards, and pollutant load reduction goals.

The second, known as a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy, or WRAPS, summarizes past efforts to monitor and improve water quality, and identifies future strategies for restoring and protecting water quality in the watershed.

The RWMWD is located in eastern Ramsey County and western Washington County and encompasses portions of a number of communities including White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake, Little Canada, Maplewood, Landfall, North St. Paul, St. Paul, Oakdale, Woodbury, Roseville and Shoreview. The MPCA, RWMWD and local groups are recommending a number of actions including reducing streambank erosion, reducing in-lake nutrients, and improving stormwater management to restore and protect waterbodies.

These reports were developed under the state’s watershed approach, a holistic way of gauging the health of streams and lakes and developing strategies to restore or protect their water quality.

The reports are available on the MPCA’s RWMWD webpage or at the MPCA’s St. Paul office, at 520 Lafayette Road North. The MPCA encourages those interested in the RWMWD to review and provide feedback on the reports. Comments on the reports should be submitted in writing by May 3, 2017, to Brooke Asleson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, or brooke.asleson@state.mn.us. Brooke is available to answer questions at 651-757-2205.

Comments must indicate whether they pertain to the WRAPS report or TMDL study. They must include a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the report that you believe should be changed, and specific reasons supporting your position.

More information is available on the MPCA’s Impaired Waters and TMDLs webpage.