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Notes are occasionally drafted and posted under "Past Meeting Notes".  Links to the web sites of group members as well as other polls and information from group members are also listed on separate pages.

Nothing planned at this time

Is Chloride the New Phosphorus?
Reducing impacts of winter maintenance.

Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Time: 10 am - 11:30 am
Location: Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District offices
     18681 Lake Drive East, Chanhassen, MN 55317
Speaker: Carolyn Dindorf, Fortin Consulting

Please come to learn more about upcoming opportunities in winter and turfgrass maintenance training and workshops.  They will be presenting information on the training programs available, especially focusing on the new Winter Maintenance Assessment tool, Level II organizational Smart Salting certification, and information for MS4s.

Be prepared to provide feedback on what you see as up and coming issues or needs within your organization or for the MS4 permit as the renewal comes up.

We will also have a general discussion on the MS4 permit to share how the permit requirements went in light of the permit renewal coming up this year.

Common Misconceptions Regarding the Use of Aluminum Sulfate (Alum) in Lakes and Ponds

Date: November 30, 2016
Speaker: Mr. Joe Bischoff, Aquatic Ecologist and Certified Lake Manager, Wenck Associates

The use of aluminum sulfate or alum in lakes started in the 1970’s to reduce or eliminate internal phosphorus release from sediments that can lead to nuisance algae levels. More recently, alum has been used in ponds that demonstrate high internal phosphorus loads. Over the past four decades, there have been numerous advances in the science of using alum in lakes and ponds including more specific dosing calculations, improved understanding of the fate of aluminum in the sediments, and case studies documenting the long term results of the treatments. 

However, there are still common misconceptions about the use of alum in lakes and ponds, its safety, and its long term effectiveness. Some of the more common misconceptions include:
1. Alum treatments are overly expensive and not effective for the long term,
2. Alum treatments are not effective in shallow lakes,
3. Alum treatments should not be considered until the watershed load is addressed, and
4. Alum treatments are not safe for humans or biological organisms.

Each of these misconceptions can lead to delays in the appropriate use of alum that prevents short and long term benefits to the lake. With proper planning, these benefits can be realized in the near term to the advantage of lake users.

This presentation addresses these misconceptions, summarizes the current science for lakes and stormwater ponds, and offers suggestions on how these issues can be addressed when considering the use of alum. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MS4 Permit Status Discussion / Wellhead Protection Plan Implementation
Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016

The meeting was facilitated by Jessica Vanderwerff Wilson (City of Edina).  The meeting started with a general discussion on where we are at with our MS4 Permit Program.  Meeting Notes are located on the Past Meeting Notes page.

Next we discussed Source Water Protection and Wellhead Protection Plans. Some questions onsidered were:
- Who’s here (stakeholder mapping). Who’s not here?
- Where are you at with your Plan of Action implementation items?
- Just what is "Higher Engineering Review"?
- What resources are you using for review of development proposals?
- How have you incorporated DWSMA analysis into your MS4 reviews?
- How do we share information with each other?
- How do we coordinate education materials for sharing with all?
- What are your success stories? Trials/tribulations? Lessons learned?
- Minnesota Department of Health grants, have you applied? Have you received one?
- What are you doing for private well sealing efforts?
- Opportunities for collaboration?  

We also be discussed the idea of developing a Southwest Metro Regional Wellhead Protection Task Force annual meeting, or perhaps something wider.  Who is interested in this idea? What do we want it to look like? Where should it be hosted? Do we just meet again through the Water Resources Group?

The City of Edina hosts an interactive water resources map that displays DWSMA vulnerability, inner wellhead management zones, and 1-year time of travel layers. View it at:


Date: Thursday, February 18, 2016


The next meeting will start off with a presentation from Steve Woods from the Freshwater Society to discuss NEW Buffer Rules 101 and upcoming groundwater sustainability discussions.  We will then have a round table discussion as to where we are at with all of our new MS4 Permit Requirements.


Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Topic: Let's come together to talk about the upcoming permit requirements.  Where are we at with:
 - ordinance updates
 - ERPs
 - Illicit Discharge Detection Response Plans
 - Facility Inventories
 - Education Plans
 - Source Water Protection Plans
 - SWPP Plan Updates
 - etc.????

This is an open discussion, please bring copies of ordinances or any other updates you may have completed to date.  For example, we just finished an Illicit Discharge Flyer for our employees to introduce them to the new program that we are kicking off this month.

Please call if you have any thoughts or ideas!


Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

9:30 – 10:15 – Master Water Stewards Program
       (Minnehaha Creek Watershed District / Freshwater Society)  
10:15 – 10:45 – MS4 / NPDES Updates  
10:45 – 11:30 – Stormwater Inventory

This meeting will cover 2 topics.  Minnehaha Creek and the Freshwater Society will be coming in to talk about their new Master Water Stewards Program and how that is working and what types of projects are being targeted.

Also, I have been asked to repeat the presentation I gave at the Low Impact Development Conference this past summer.  I will update the numbers to include the costs for 2013 into the presentation and will list some of the projects that we have conducted to date based on the results of this studies.  I will also discuss our draft budget for the next 10 years that we are developing as a result of the studies conducted to date.

Also, public notices are starting to go our on our SWPPP Documents.  It is a good time to get together and start talking about our plans going forward, to see where we are at and to see how we can help each other out.

If anyone is interested, we can go out to lunch afterwards to catch up!


Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ray Valley from Contour Innovations will speak about automated mapping of lakes and ponds with Lowrance depth finders and ciBioBase.  Data can be analyzed within ciBioBase or exported to third party statistical or GIS software.  Users can use the program to map bathymetry and vegetation bio-volume in ponds smaller than 1 acre to lakes larger than 10,000 acres.  Potential applications for water resource management will be discussed.

Ray is the Chief Aquatic Biologist with Contour Innovations.  His work has been focused on automated processing and mapping of acoustic data.  Previously Ray was a research biologist with the MN Dept. of Natural Resources Fishery Division where he was involved in projects ranging from multi-scale patterns of  macrophyte growth as a function of disturbance; effects of macrophyte growth patterns on fish  movement and behavior; up to chairing the launch of a long-term sentinel lake monitoring program in 2008.

Visitors can park in the upper level at the Fire Station. 

The Station is off the corner of Pilot Knob and Lexington (just east of Lexington, south of Pilot Knob). (Please note, this is a new address and may not show up on your phone correctly)


Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Location: Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District

Cliff Aichinger from RWMWD will speak about their experiences in retrofitting the Maplewood Mall for stormwater volume reduction.  The project was a result of the Kohlman Lake TMDL which called for reduction of nutrients from the watershed and from in-lake loading.  In the analysis of the watershed, it was determined that the 200 acres of impervious cover in and around Maplewood Mall was an obvious feature on the landscape.  The District identified that retrofitting the Mall parking areas to infiltrate at least one inch of runoff would result in a large reduction in phosphorus to Kohlman Creek and the lake.  BMPs incorporated included rain gardens, planter areas, porous pavement and a cistern.

Please come to learn more about how this came about and what it looks like today.  If the weather cooperates we can drive over to take a look around!


When: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Joe Lewis from Houston Engineering will come to discuss how LIDAR can be used for water resources.  He will cover the following:

- General description of LIDAR data collection and file formats
- Description of processing techniques to “correct” the raw elevation data so it represents actual stormwater runoff direction (often referred to hydrologic conditioning)
- Drainage boundary delineation
- Estimating physical characteristics of watersheds using LIDAR and other available GIS data layers for things such as slope, flow paths, travel times, percent impervious, etc. for hydrologic and water quality analysis in SWMM, P8 or other modeling programs
- Estimating pollutant loadings by catchment for watershed planning (e.g., pond prioritization)
- Characterizing erosion and sediment loading potential using the Stream Power Index and the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation; and
- Hydraulic analysis and floodplain mapping.

Introduction to MS4 Software Program Alternatives

Speaker: Joe Lewis, Houston Engineering
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MS4Front is a web-based program specifically designed to streamline record keeping for a MS4 permit.  The easy-to-use interface simplifies your MS4 permit management and will leave you well prepared for an audit. 

The program is comprehensive and capable of recording all types of activities, including:  
- SWPPP data such as ERPs, SOPs, regulatory mechanisms and partnerships
- Pond, wetland, structural BMP and outfall inventories
- Inspection and maintenance activities
- Public education, public involvement and employee training activities
- Track non-structural BMPs
- Track construction stormwater program requirements from permit applications, site inspections, and enforcement actions
- Track post-construction stormwater program requirements
- Stockpile and material handling facility inspections and maintenance actions
- Track progress towards meeting a TMDL waste load allocation  

The program features a fully integrated mapping component with the ability to import existing GIS databases and inventories as well as reading ESRI web-mapping services.  Inspection and maintenance forms are also customizable.  You can also set up email reminders for certain actives such as construction site inspections and structural BMP maintenance.  The program’s reporting features allow you to create customizable reports for individual MCMs, individual records and annual summary reports.

Weather – Extreme Trends (WET) - Minnehaha Creek Stormwater Adaptation Study  

April 2012
Climate research and projected trends show a significant increase in both the frequency and severity of rain events across Minnesota. Stormwater management systems designed under historic conditions could prove inadequate, increasing the risk of flooding, property damage, and posing significant financial and environmental challenges to our communities. 

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stormwater Adaptation Study will address these issues and future stormwater adaptation planning by examining rainfall and land use trends, evaluating the vulnerability of existing stormwater infrastructure, identifying ways to adapt our systems – including costs – and facilitating a community-led planning process to provide a framework for developing local stormwater adaptation plans.

Speaker: Leslie Yetka, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Trisha Moore, a Post-doc with the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory


Street Sweeping Research and Demonstration Study

Date: March 21, 2012
Location: City of Prior Lake

Speakers: Ross Bintner, Prior Lake and Paula Kalinosky, Univ. of MN

Revised Nutrient Criteria for Streams

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The MPCA is in the process of revising the water quality criteria for creeks and streams in Minnesota.  Join in to learn what this is likely to include and how this could impact your NPDES permit requirements.

Speaker: Joe Bischoff, Wenck Associates

Living Streets / Green Streets

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cliff Aichinger from Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District will be speaking about their recent collaboration with the City of North. St. Paul.  They recently completed a Living Streets Plan (Green Streets) which was recently approved by the City Council.  The City and District are beginning a feasibility study for a demonstration street (with a grant from the Clean Water Fund and other local and District funds).  The lead consultant for the planning process was Barr Engineering.

The primary motivation for the project is the reduction in volume of runoff, but also incorporates other neighborhood benefits of slowing traffic, increasing pedestrian and biking safety, expanding the urban tree canopy, an improving neighborhood aesthetics.  All streets would be reduced in width and include rain gardens to capture at least the first 1” of runoff.  Since neighborhood street make up 80% of all streets and highways in urban areas, this should go a long way toward reducing nutrient runoff.

Speaker: Cliff Aichinger (RWMWD) and possibly Fred Rozumalski (Barr Engineering)

Jim Haertel from BWSR will also be providing a brief update on the status of updating their Water Planning Rules.  This includes Chapter 8410 and will set standards for approval / disapproval of water management organization (WMO) and watershed district (WD) plans.

Pollutant Loading from Ag Uses: How can we engage farmers to improve water quality?

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2010.

Join us for a brainstorming session on how to effectively engage the agricultural community to assist us in our efforts to improve water quality. Whether you recently completed a TMDL study, received a phosphorus load allocation from your watershed organization, or are just interested in brainstorming the best ways to engage the public in water resource issues, join us in March!  We will discuss lessons we have learned and provide and evaluate examples of best practices that worked, or did not work.

There are a number of knowledgeable people coming to help lead the discussion, including the Hennepin Conservation District, Three Rivers Park District and the University of Minnesota Extension Service so please stop on by!

Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) 1 and 2 - Discussion and Exchange of Ideas

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Stormwater Permit is now in the process of being updated for 2011.  This would be a good opportunity to meet and discuss what we are doing for each MCM and how well they are working.  What would we suggest for the permit re-write that would be an improvement?  The plan is to start with MCMs 1 & 2 and then have additional meetings to discuss other MCMs individually. 

Sarah Stai from Ecosmith Consulting will be on hand to kick off the discussion with a presentation on incorporating the ideas behind social marketing into our stormwater permit program.  Go to www.ecosmithconsulting.com for more information on the services she provides for environmental education.

Minimal Impact Design Standards--MN Takes the Lead

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Participants of the Mississippi River Forum kick-off workshop in April heard about how land use is impacting Minnesota's water resources. Consider this an update to that discussion! Earlier this year, Minnesota updated its approach to managing stormwater by passing legislation that directs the Pollution Control Agency to "develop  performance standards, design standards, and other tools" to enable and promote improved stormwater management and better protect Minnesota's water resources.  The result is MIDS - Minimal Impact Design Standards. 

Come hear how the MIDS package will allow communities to adopt effective stormwater standards and techniques, meet regulatory requirements, and help Minnesota reach our clean water goals. 

The speaker is Julie Westerlund, co-chair of the Low Impact Development Team of the MN Stormwater Steering Committee, which helped develop the MIDS project.

MN Rules 8410 Update

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BWSR is in the process of updating their Water Planning Rules.  This includes Chapter 8410 and will set standards for approval / disapproval of water management organization (WMO) and watershed district (WD) plans.  They will also deal with plan contents, amendment requirements, local plan development, and how to approach non-implementation issues

City of Savage - McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center

Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We will be heading to Savage in May to visit Savage's Environmental Learning Center and to learn about all the stormwater management techniques they have incorporated. The City built it with an eye towards LEED Certification too.  After the meeting you can stay to tour the grounds which encompass 10 acres of woodlands, marshes and restored prairie - oak savanna. The "Big Woods" remnant and oak savanna offer a glimpse of pre-settlement conditions.

KARE-11 Quote: "Outside visitors will see rain gardens and an area of a buried geothermal field for heating and cooling the building. Inside?  "A back splash made of what we call microstrand wheat," North Star Product Consultant James Bluhm said of the product his St. Paul company produces. Yes, there's Minnesota-grown wheat stock on the walls and cabinetry made of sunflower seed shells."

The City of Bloomington has recently completed a new educational video on water quality education for residents.  They will be bringing a copy to show and to receive feedback from those who might be interested in receiving a copy.

In addition, TegraSeal will be coming to speak briefly about a new product they have developed.  This is a super-absorbant material that can hold up to 1 gallon of water per square foot.  It is used in green roofs, greenhouses, parks and medians among others.

Stormwater Management at the NEW Gopher Stadium

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SRF Consulting will be coming to talk about the EPIC stormwater management system they designed for the new Gopher stadium.  They will also talk about other stormwater infiltration systems that they have worked on as a complement to this overall talk.  Should be interesting!

MS4 Audits - What are they?

Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Come listen and learn about audits and how they work.  Prior Lake and Blaine both volunteered to undergo a MS4 audit and will be coming to speak on this topic.  The MPCA intends to complete all audits over the over the next 5 years with a significant number done by the beginning of the next permit cycle (2011).  That is a lot of reviews in a short time! 

There are now 2 Phase 1 (large) MS4 permittees and 233 Phase 2 (small) MS4 permittees.

Pond Treatment - What are the Alternatives?

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drew Budelis from Lionheart Creek Consulting will be coming in to lead a discussion on pond treatment alternatives.  What have you found that works?  What have you tried that didn't work?  He will also be discussing "SonicSolutions" for algae control. 

We will meet at the City of Blaine as they and the Coon Creek Watershed District are exploring the idea of placing a device in a pond to see how it works.  If successfully implemented, we will be including a tour to go look at the pond.

Wading Through TMDLs and Municipal Stormwater Permits - What does it mean?

Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A TMDL is starting or finishing that impacts your city.  Now what?  How do you incorporate the tasks into your SWPPP?

Joe Bischoff from Wenck Associates will be presenting information and staff from the MPCA are planning on attending to answer questions.