MN EPA Finalizing Report To Improve Lake Irving’s Water Quality
Lake Irving has repeatedly been identified as an “impaired water system”, which means the quality is much lower than expected. However, the Minnesota Environmental Pollution Control Agency is wrapping a study on how to reduce pollutants and unwanted nutrients in the water.
The Minnesota EPA divided the state into 80 major watersheds to best address the different needs of each area. When they collected samples from various water sources in the Mississippi Headwaters, they noticed that Lake Irving wasn’t hitting the mark.
In years past, they would chase down the issues when they arose. Now, other agencies like the Soil and Water Conservation District are working with them for more long-term solutions.
Sediment basins like the one behind the Bemidji Visitor Information Center trap the nutrients attached to dirt before they can spread, which causes issues like algae blooms.
The Watershed Restoration And Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report being prepared by the state Pollution Control Agency will determine how to address the root of the problem. Then, the SWCD could implement a similar project in Lake Irving.
Right now, the agency is incorporating comments from the public and the EPA to the WRAPS rough draft. The public will be able to comment again on the findings before the report is completed sometime next year.