Tracking the health of streams in Minnesota is a big job, and one that the MPCA can’t do alone. The agency depends on local partners for help. Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) partnerships provide funding to local organizations to assist with intensive water quality monitoring throughout Minnesota.

Due to the intensive nature of sampling, good communication between local partners and the MPCA is crucial. During the open water season, weekly telephone conferences are convened. It is also important to have consistent sampling procedures throughout the network. Field training is provided by the MPCA and two procedural documents are implemented for the entire network.

Major watershed outlets and basin sites are sampled throughout the year with a goal of collecting 32 samples. Subwatershed sites are sampled from ice-out to October 31 with a goal of 23 samples per site. Quality Assurance/quality control samples will also be collected according to MPCA protocols. Local partners must submit the following to the MPCA:

  • Quality Assurance Project Plan
  • Stream water quality data
  • Field meter calibration log
  • Field notes
  • Digital photos taken during site visits
  • Pollutant loading data
  • Interim progress report
  • Final report

Local partners