Silver Lake - Nutrients: TMDL Project


Minnesota's Impaired Waters and TMDLs


The Silver Lake watershed is located in the southwest portion of the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) in southern Anoka County and northwestern Ramsey County and is within the Upper Mississippi Watershed. This area lies entirely within the North Central Hardwood Forest Ecoregion. Silver Lake is located partially in the City of Columbia Heights and partially in the City of New Brighton, and the watershed is located within four municipalities and three counties (Anoka, Hennepin and Ramsey).

The main land uses in the Silver Lake watershed (Figure 2) are single family residential (40%), institutional (13%), multi-family (12%), and commercial (11%). Open water makes up 12% of the total watershed. Note that the large institutional area on the north side of the lake is actually also mostly park land being developed as a regional park (Silverwood) by the Three Rivers Park District (TRPD). Silver Lake is an important recreational resource for the area and the focal point for the TRPD’s Silverwood Park, previously the Salvation Army's historic Silver Lake Camp and Conference Center that operated on the site from 1921-2004. The lake is used recreationally for fishing and swimming and motorized and non-motorized boating. The lake itself contains two islands, one which is accessible via walking bridge.

Silver Lake is 72.5 acres in size, with a watershed area to lake area ratio of 9.4. Although it has a deep hole, with a maximum depth of 47 feet, overall the lake is shallow. Approximately 88% of the surface area of the lake is littoral (less than 15 feet depth), and the entire northeastern segment of the lake is less than five feet deep. The mean depth of the lake is 7.5 feet.  In 2002, Silver Lake was placed on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) list of impaired waters in need of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study for excess nutrients. The data indicated that Silver Lake has total phosphorus concentrations in excess of the MPCA’s state water quality narrative standard of 40 micrograms per liter for the growing season mean. The RCWD and TRPD have hired a consultant to develop the work products necessary to complete a TMDL and Implementation Strategy for Silver Lake.

Map and location

Silver Lake is located in Anoka, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties, within the Mississippi River - Twin Cities watershed of the Upper Mississippi River basin.


    TMDL report and implementation plan

    Other documents

    • None.

    Meetings and events

    All meeting information, including agendas, minutes, presentations and electronic handouts can be found in PDF document below. This document is bookmarked for ease in searching for specific meeting details. 

    Meeting dates: 

    • July 8, 2010
    • October 14, 2009
    • June 27, 2008


    Information contact

    Eric Alms, Project Manager
    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
    520 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155