Dodge  County  Waters :  Programs  and  Trends
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Dodge County Waters : Programs and Trends. What is the quality of the ground water and surface water in Dodge County ? Is the quality improving or worsening?.

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Dodge County Waters : Programs and Trends

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Dodge county waters programs and trends

Dodge County Waters : Programs and Trends


Dodge county waters programs and trends

What is the quality of the ground water and surface water in Dodge County ?

Is the quality improving or worsening?

Water monitoring efforts over the last 12 years have provided some answers and raised additional questions, as well. Changing environmental conditions, and high public interest, provide the impetus to continue to gather and learn from accurate water quality data.

All activities & projects contained in this presentation are

in support of directives set forth in the Dodge County

Comprehensive Water Management Plan.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Ground Water


Dodge county waters programs and trends

In Dodge County,

Ground Water is #1 !!!!

The Dodge County Comprehensive Water Management Plan

clearly states that groundwater protection takes

priority over surface water protection.

Our ground water management plan revolves around:

ASSESSMENT - PROTECTION - EDUCATION


Dodge county waters programs and trends

DODGE COUNTY WATER ISSUES

GROUND WATER

SURFACE WATER

  • Nitrate

  • Bacteria

  • Lead

  • Arsenic

  • Pesticides

  • Nitrate

  • Sediment

  • Bacteria

  • Stream Flow

  • Phosphorous


Dodge county waters programs and trends

To better understand ground water, it’s important to visualize the rock layers, most of which serve as drinking water aquifers, which exist under Dodge County, moving from deepest to shallowest.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Let’s cut through the rock layers and expose them from a side view.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Ellington

Concord

Milton

WEST

EAST

1300

1300

Elevation

Above Sea

Level (ft)

1200

1200

SOIL, SAND & GRAVEL

GALENA LIMESTONE

1100

1100

DECORAH SHALE

1000

1000

ST. PETER SANDSTONE

900

900

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN DOLOMITE/SANDSTONE

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Miles

Generalized Geographic Formations Underlying

Ellington, Concord and Milton Townships

Subsurface Geologic Cross-Section

In general, the thicker soils in the western portion of the county provide

more protection from surface contaminants reaching the rock layers.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Ellington

Concord

Milton

WEST

EAST

1300

Shallow Well, < 50 Ft. to Bedrock

1300

1200

1200

SOIL, SAND & GRAVEL

Elevation

Above Sea

Level (ft)

GALENA LIMESTONE

1100

~60% of all wells

1100

DECORAH SHALE

1000

1000

ST. PETER SANDSTONE

~15% of all wells

900

900

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN DOLOMITE/SANDSTONE

~ 10% of all wells

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Miles

Deep river valleys in the eastern portion of the county can erode the protective shale layer, exposing the layers below to contamination.

Subsurface Geologic Cross-Section

Generalized Geographic Formations Underlying

Ellington, Concord and Milton Townships


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Claremont

Wasioja

Mantorville

EAST

WEST

Elevation

Above Sea

Level (ft)

1300

1300

SOIL, SAND & GRAVEL

1200

1200

1100

1100

GALENA LIMESTONE

1000

1000

DECORAH SHALE

900

900

ST. PETER SANDSTONE

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN DOLOMITE/SANDSTONE

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Miles

Subsurface Geologic Cross-Section

Generalized Geographic Formations Underlying

Ellington, Concord and Milton Townships


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Ripley

Ashland

Canisteo

WEST

EAST

Elevation

Above Sea

Level (ft)

1300

1300

SOIL, SAND & GRAVEL

1200

1200

1100

1100

GALENA LIMESTONE

1000

1000

900

900

DECORAH SHALE

ST. PETER SANDSTONE

PDC

Subsurface Geologic Cross-Section

Generalized Geographic Formations Underlying

Ellington, Concord and Milton Townships


Dodge county waters programs and trends

WEST

Westfield

Hayfield

Vernon

EAST

Elevation

Above Sea

Level (ft)

1300

1300

SOIL, SAND & GRAVEL

1200

1200

CEDAR VALLEY-MAQUOKETA LIMESTONE

1100

1100

1000

1000

GALENA LIMESTONE

900

900

DECORAH SHALE

ST. PETER SANDSTONE

PDC

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Miles

Subsurface Geologic Cross-Section

Generalized Geographic Formations Underlying

Ellington, Concord and Milton Townships


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Nitrate’s Pathway to Surface and Ground Water

Nitrogen

Fertilizer

Applied

Run Off to

Surface Water

Nitrate Attaches to Water,

Then Moves to Ground Water

Nitrate Utilized by Plant in Root Zone

Nitrate Moves into Field Tile,

Then to Surface Water


Dodge county waters programs and trends

High nitrate wells occur most frequently in the Highly Sensitive Groundwater Area, where depth-to-bedrock is less than 50 ft, or where underground

sand lenses exist.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Nitrate levels > 1 mg/l in the St. Peter Sandstone are a reason for concern.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Areas of Dodge County where the St. Peter Sandstone is shallow and vulnerable to surface contamination.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Ground Water Projects:

Dodge County Volunteer Nitrate Monitoring Network

  • A grant-funded network operating across SE MN since 2007.

  • Approximately 100 private well owners participate in Dodge

  • County, sampling their wells every 6 months.

  • The Dodge County network is sub-divided into one baseline, and

  • three targeted, groups. The targeted groups are:

  • Wells monitoring areas near

  • known high-nitrate wells.

  • 2) Wells monitoring areas near

  • existing sinkholes.

  • 3) Wells monitoring the region

  • along the Decorah Edge.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Decorah Edge Diagram

Wells near the Decorah Edge can sometimes be affected by nitrate

as it wicks around the shale and

is drawn back toward the well.

Galena Limestone

Ground water with

high nitrate conc.

Water

Well

Plant Uptake

Decorah Shale

Ground waters with lower nitrate conc.

Platteville Limestone

Glenwood Shale

Nitrates

may enter

well water

St. Peter Sandstone

Aquifers are Recharged


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Volunteer Nitrate Monitoring Network Results

MN Dept. of Health Drinking Water Limit = 10 mg/l

0 – 1 mg/l is considered back-

ground level

Nitrate Level (mg/l)

The recent upward trend in nitrate level may be due , in part, to recent near-drought conditions, which tend to concentrate nitrate in the drinking water aquifers.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Future Ground Water Efforts:

  • Continue to locate and map new wells and those with known depth.

  • Make inexpensive well test kits available for untested wells at risk of high nitrate levels.

  • Maintain recent groundwater information on the Dodge County website.

  • Continue to develop nitrate trends through the Volunteer Nitrate Monitoring Network.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Surface Water


Dodge county waters programs and trends

  • Surface Water Programs & Projects:

  • - Deal with pollution prevention

  • and corrective measures.

  • - Focus on: -Nutrients

  • - Sediment

  • - Stream Flow

Our surface water management plan revolves around:

ASSESSMENT - PREVENTION - EDUCATION


Dodge county waters programs and trends

TRANSPARENCY TUBE

THE PRIMARY TOOL USED IN THE VOLUNTEER CITIZEN STREAM MONITORING PROGRAM

60 cm Tube

(Used for the last 15 yrs)

100 cm Tube

(Used Now)


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Tube Transparency & Rainfall Trends

5000 Samples !!!

Tube Transparency (cm) & Annual Rainfall (in)

Monitoring Year


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Gathering Stream Macroinvertebrates (BUGS!)


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Trendline

Sample of the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) results generated by examining and sorting the macroinvertebrates (bugs) gathered from each stream site. Upward trend lines indicate an improving stream environment for living organisms.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Cedar River

Grade: B-

Sub-Watershed

Report Cards*

* Based on transparency tube readings, insect populations, and other factors.

  • Factors include sub-watershed size,

  • land use, historical data, and

  • soil characteristics.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

South Fork Zumbro

Grade: C-

Trendline


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Salem Creek

Grade: B+

Trendline


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Dodge Center Creek

Grade: B


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Masten Creek

Grade: B+

Trendline


Dodge county waters programs and trends

South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro

Grade: C-


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Milliken Creek

Grade: C+


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Harkcom Creek

Grade: D+


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Middle Fork Zumbro

Grade: A-

Trendline


Dodge county waters programs and trends

CONTINUOUS

STREAM MONITORING

STATION

  • Located on the South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro near Olmsted County, this station continuously monitors:

  • Air Temperature

  • Rainfall

  • Water Temperature

  • Water Depth

  • Turbidity


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Sampling sensors are an essential part of the monitoring station.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Ongoing & Future Surface Water Programs & Projects:

Dodge County 50-Foot Stream Buffer Program

Before

After

Buffers provide a deterrent to the movement of soil and nutrients into the stream.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Increasing Row Crop Production Increases the Importance of Adequate Stream Buffers to Protect Water Quality


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Both the septic and feedlot programs provide pollution prevention benefits to both surface water and ground water.

13 problematic feedlots have been fixed in the last 3 years.

In Dodge County, 276 failing or inadequate septic systems have been repaired or replaced in the last 5 years.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Nitrate Level (mg/l)

Date

Field tile drainage is diverted through the woodchips, where a high percentage of nitrate is removed.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Using Saturated Buffers for Nitrate Removal

Field tile water runs through a perforated tile parallel to

the buffered ditch or stream, allowing limited drainage

through the buffer, which reduces nitrate levels.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Edge-of-Field Monitoring Stations

MN Dept. of Ag. Grant Site

Discovery Farms Site

Water samples are gathered and analyzed, providing accurate information to producers on nutrients that leave their fields during

snow-melt and runoff events.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

SLOW THE FLOW !

Reducing flood potential and sediment transfer by reducing the quantity and speed at which rainfall reaches the stream.

  • 100 years ago, 10% of rainfall ran off to rivers and streams

  • due to extensive prairies, woodlands, wetlands.

  • We’ve now lost 95% of prairies, 90% of wetlands.

  • Prior to 1942 – one major flood – since then, 11 major floods.

  • Development of paved surfaces, more lawns, ag. drainage, etc.

  • – all contributed to 41% flow increase between 1910 – 1980.

  • Stream bank erosion may account for 30+% of stream sediment.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Mantorville – South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro - September 2010


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Mantorville - South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro - June 2004


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Mantorville - South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro - June 2001


Dodge county waters programs and trends

2007 photo – Bridge near Byron Sportsmen’s Club


Dodge county waters programs and trends

2011 photo – Bridge near Byron Sportsmen’s Club


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Soil loss from 2010 flood event


Dodge county waters programs and trends

What Can We Do ?

Urban:

Rural:

  • Rain Gardens

  • Stormwater Holding

  • Ponds

  • Rain Barrels

  • Pervious Paving

  • Lawn Management

  • Wetland Restoration

  • Conservation

  • Drainage

  • Water & Soil

  • Retention Structures

  • Perennial Vegetation


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Future Surface Water Efforts

  • Continue to promote the Stream Transparency Monitoring & Stream Macroinvertebrate Programs.

  • Work with partners and cooperating agencies to develop new projects and programs which serve to reduce nutrients, sediment, and stream flow.

  • Expand the number of instrument-equipped sampling stations on Dodge County streams.

  • Maintain recent surface water information on the Dodge County website.


Dodge county waters programs and trends

Be Good to Your Streams !


Dodge county waters programs and trends

…. and Your Wells, as Well !


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