Source Water Protection
Providing safe drinking water to its citizens is a primary responsibility of government. Stearns County has a number of communities that are providing drinking water to the residents from vulnerable aquifers. The City of St. Cloud obtains its drinking water from the Mississippi River. The St. Cloud Source Water Protection - Priority A area (determined by an eight hour time-of-travel for water to reach the surface intake) comprises about 89 square miles within Stearns County.
The role of the Stearns County SWCD is to cooperate with and assist public water suppliers who are developing and implementing Source Water Protection Plans. Some of the action items include:
- Assistance with plan development and map creation.
- Provide technical assistance on managing landuses to protect drinking water supplies.
- Promote and participate in the education of the community about the importance of drinking water protection.
- Focus inspection and enforcement of feedlot and land application rules within shoreland and Drinking Water Supply Management Areas (DWSMA's).
- Explore development of planning and zoning tools, such as an overlay district, which promote proactive land use planning to protect drinking water supplies.
- Explore development of additional protective measures for aggregate mining in wellhead protection areas overlying geologically sensitive aquifers.
- Cooperate with cities to inventory Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (SSTS) located within vulnerable areas of the DWSMA and support innovative approaches towards inspection programs.
- Explore the possibility of supplemental incentive funding to existing programs for vegetative buffers, set aside programs and Best Management Practices (BMP's).
For more information contact:
Stearns County SWCD
Phone: 320-251-7800, Extension 3