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Water Quality :

Other Efforts/Information

Stearns County is fortunate to have numerous lakes and miles of streams. The Stearns County SWCD is dedicated to work with residents to protect these valuable resources that we all enjoy. By conducting water quality monitoring, installing shoreline erosion best management practices, and hosting educational workshops, we are on our way to improving water quality.

Impaired Waters

Stearns County has a number of water resources that have been listed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as impaired, which means that the water resource does not meet its designated use.  The majority of the water resources in the County have not been monitored to MPCA standards to determine whether impairments exist.   The goal is to determine the water quality status of the highest priority water resources in the County, protect those water resources that currently support their designated uses, and where needed, improve those that do not. 

The Stearns County SWCD works to accomplish the goals set forth in the Stearns County Comprehensive Water Management Plan 2008-2017. Those goals include:

  • Annually review the sampling data and determine continuing monitoring needs.

  • Coordinate and implement monitoring and analysis.

  • Provide assistance to County landowners implementing agricultural Best Management Practices on working lands to reduce soil erosion, protect stream banks and improve water resources.

  • Inform landowners about proper land application of nutrients and pesticides.

  • Develop/support workshops for volunteer monitors.

  • Establish and maintain vegetative buffers in the shore and bluff impact zones

For more info: visit the MPCA Impaired Waters Site

Citizen Lake Monitoring Program

The Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program is a cooperative program combining the technical resources of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the volunteer efforts of citizens statewide who collect water-quality data on their lakes. It began in 1973 at the University of Minnesota in the Limnological Research Center with 74 lakes. Administration of the Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program (CLMP) was transferred to the MPCA in 1978. This program continues to be a cost-effective means for obtaining good, basic water quality information on many of the State's lakes. To find out the water quality condition of any lake enrolled in the CLMP, use the Search Form located at

For additional information visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Web Site at:

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