Pope County 8 Lakes - Excess nutrients (total phosphorus): TMDL Project

Eight lakes in Pope County have been determined to be impaired due to excess nutrients (total phosphorus): Ann, Emily, Gilchrist, Leven, Malmedal, Pelican, Reno and Strandness.

A completed TMDL study identifies phosphorus as the primary pollutant leading to excessive plant growth (such as algae) in these lakes.

Stakeholder groups involved in the TMDL:

  • Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Pope County
  • Chippewa River Watershed Project
  • Individual lake associations
  • Pope County Coalition of Lakes Association (COLA)
  • Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR)
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • A number of area residents.

Map and location

The eight lakes in the TMDL are located within a roughly 30-mile radius of Glenwood (west-central Minnesota). The lakes are in the Chippewa River Watershed.

More maps are available using the interactive Impaired waters viewer.

TMDL report and implementation plan

The TMDL study determined the amount of phosphorus reductions needed to achieve the standard for each lake:

  • Anne (90% reduction)
  • Emily (35%)
  • Gilchrist (48%)
  • Leven (35%)
  • Malmedal (72%)
  • Pelican (35%)
  • Reno (36%)
  • Strandness (54%)

Sources of phosphorus include:

  • point sources such as feedlots and wastewater treatment facilities
  • stormwater runoff
  • loading from upstream waters
  • atmospheric deposition
  • subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS)
  • groundwater
  • internal loading
  • in-stream erosion

Where specific sources were identified, the report assigned allocations to those sources. These include the Blair Farms Inc. feedlot, wastewater treatment facilities in Lowry and Starbuck, and stormwater runoff from construction activities in Pope County.

Implementation of the corrective phase of the TMDL project will be accomplished by both state and local action. Water quality restoration efforts will be led by the Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District, Pope County, the Chippewa River Watershed Project, and through lake associations and the Pope County Coalition of Lakes Association (COLA).

Meetings and events

For information on local meetings, contact the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District.



Paul Wymar
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
505 Fairground Rd. Suite 200
Marshall, MN 56258