The Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) completed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies in 2009. As part of those studies, the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) identified sources of bacteria, sediment and oxygen demand to the Clearwater River and corresponding lakes. Since 2009, work has been undertake by the CRWD and others to address these sources. However, by 2015 it became apparent both an update to the existing source inventory as well as an increased investment in best management practices (BMPs) adoption at the field-scale was needed.
As such, in 2015 the CRWD applied for and received a $72,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency via its Clean Water Partnership Program. This grant was funded via the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment. The projects goals were:
The project began in 2015 by identifying and implement agricultural BMPs and /or other projects to reduce sediment, phosphorus, and bacterial loads to the Upper Clearwater River. A desktop analysis identified high potential loading areas and BMPs throughout the upper portion of the Clearwater River Watershed. The BMPs were reviewed and sediment reduction was calculated based on the performance.
Enrollment process began after the completion of the analysis. Several projects were implemented and one designed. These include Water & Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs), an Animal Waste Treatment System (AWT) and a buffer strip along a non-public watercourse, non-public ditch. The implement projects were estimated to remove 434.18 lbs of phosphorus and 352.72 tons of total suspended solids on an annual basis.
This project was completed due to the cooperation between the Clearwater River Watershed District, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Meeker and Stearns Soil & Water Conservation Districts and local property owners/ agricultural producers.