Assessment of Waters – Impaired Waters
The Clean Water Act (Section 303(d)) states that water bodies with impaired use(s) must be placed on a state’s impaired waters list. A water body is “impaired” or polluted when it fails to meet one or more of the Federal Clean Water Act’s water quality standards. Federal Standards exist for basic pollutants such as sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and mercury. The Clean Water Act requires the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to identify and restore impaired waters.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is currently evaluating impaired waters within the Watonwan River Watershed.
The MPCA has finished intensive water monitoring of the Watonwan watershed and plans to publish a report on this effort in 2016. As part of this project, the agency has also started work to identify stressors hurting water quality and conditions fostering healthy waters.
|Lake Name||County Name||Impairment Parameters||Affected Uses|
|Fish (Bullhead Bay)||Jackson||HgF||AQC|
|Fish (Main Lake)||Jackson||HgF||AQC|
|Fish (Northwest Bay)||Jackson||HgF||AQC|
|St James||Watonwan||Not Impaired||N/A|
Nutrients = Nutrients
HgF = Mercury in Fish Tissue
HgW = Mercury in Water Column
CL = Chloride
PCBF = PCBs in Fish
PFOS = Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) in Fish Tissue
AQC = Aquatic Consumption
AQR = Aquatic Recreation
AQL = Aquatic Life
Assessed Lakes Source
Water Quality Monitoring Information
Water Quality Databases
DNR/MPCA Cooperative Stream Gaging Network – USGS, DNR, MPCA – Stream discharge and links to Division of Waters Resources, climate information, river levels, water quality information, recreation and commonly used hydrologic terms
USGS – USGS discharge Information
EDA Environmental Data Access – Water quality data collected for all MPCA monitoring projects
EQuIS – Environmental Quality Information System – Water quality data from more than 17,000 sampling locations across the state.