Water Quality in our Lakes and Streams
Water quality in the lakes and streams in the two watersheds is typical of urban waters in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and is dominated by watershed runoff. The Commissions monitors flow and water quality in the streams in the watershed and in the outfalls to the Mississippi River, and monitors lake water quality and aquatic vegetation. Results are published in an annual Water Quality Report and Technical Appendices.
Thirteen of the 16 lakes were originally listed as Impaired Waters due to excess nutrients, and TMDLs and Implementation Plans have been approved for all 13 of the lakes. Three of those lakes now meet state standards and have been "delisted" on the pending 303(d) list of Impaired Waters. Shingle Creek is Impaired for chloride, low dissolved oxygen, aquatic life, and E. coli bacteria. Bass Creek is Impaired for chloride and aquatic life.
The Clean Water Act requires all states to evaluate the conditions of their lakes, streams, and wetlands, and to establish standards for surface water quality. Waters that do not meet a state's standards must be included on the state's 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. When the waters are improved and meet water quality standards, they are eligible for "delisting."
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency administers the Clean Water Act in Minnesota. Find out more about the state's Impaired Waters program here.
Lake Report Cards