Upper Mississippi River - Bacteria: TMDL Project

Minnesota's Impaired Waters and TMDLs

The Upper Mississippi River Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study and Protection Plan describes the reduction in pollutant loading for 22 stream reaches (impaired for aquatic recreation due to E. coli) and protection efforts for 29 streams and river reaches. E. coli is used to indicate the potential presence of waterborne pathogens that can be harmful to human health.

The MPCA and Minnesota Department of Health are partnering to lead this project in close coordination with area land and watershed management organizations, cities and counties, and agencies to develop a TMDL report and implementation plan. The ultimate goal of this project is to protect and restore the water quality of the Upper Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Minnesota’s water quality standard for E. coli bacteria in streams is 126 organisms per 100 ml (milliliters) of water. Testing for pathogens in water bodies is difficult, so indicator organisms such as E. coli are used to indicate the likelihood that a river contains disease-causing pathogens. E. coli comes from human, livestock, pet, and wildlife waste. Bacteria can be transferred to water bodies from stormwater systems, areas with field-applied manure fertilizer or storage, non-compliant septic systems, connected water bodies, or feedlots. 

The process for developing the TMDL Study and Protection Plan consisted of evaluating the water quality problem, determining the sources of the pollutant, allocating pollutant loads to sources and areas, and implementation activities to protect and restore water quality.

Map and location

The majority of the TMDL Study and Protection Plan focuses on the Mississippi River Corridor from Royalton to Hastings and includes portions of three Major Watersheds (8-digit HUCs): Mississippi River-Sartell (07010201), Mississippi River-St. Cloud (07010203), and Mississippi River-Twin Cities (07010206).

TMDL report and implementation plan

Other documents

Meetings and events

June 16, 2015 — Stakeholder meeting (Elk River)

March 22, 2013 — Joint Twin Cities Metro and St. Cloud Stakeholder Advisory Team and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, Elk River, MN 55330

June 27, 2012 — Joint Twin Cities Metro and St. Cloud Stakeholder Advisory Team and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, Elk River, MN 55330

November 30, 2011 - A meeting with stakeholders and regulated MS4s for the Upper Mississippi River Bacteria TMDL Project, offering an overview of the project and technical discussion.

May 10, 2011 - Joint Twin Cities Metro and St. Cloud Stakeholder Advisory Team and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 9:30 a.m.-, Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, Elk River, MN 55330

October 6, 2009 - Joint Twin Cities Metro and St. Cloud Stakeholder Advisory Team and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 9:00 a.m. - Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, Elk River, MN 55330

June 12, 2009 - Joint Twin Cities Metro and St. Cloud Stakeholder Advisory Team and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 9:00 a.m., Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, Elk River, MN 55330

August 26, 2008 - St. Cloud-Sauk River-Crow River Basin Planning Advisory Committee Meeting, 1 to 3:30 p.m., St. Cloud Holiday Inn

July 22, 2008- Joint Metro Stakeholder Advisory Team and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Links

Information contact

Barb Peichel, Project Manager
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-757-2646
barbara.peichel@state.mn.us

Phil Votruba, Project Manager
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
7678 College Road, Suite 105
Baxter, MN 56425
218-316-3901
phil.votruba@state.mn.u