Three Rivers Park District owns all or part of the shoreline of 34 lakes, two rivers, six streams, and hundreds of wetlands. These bodies of water constitute a vital part of the natural and recreational resources in the Park District.
Water Resources Management, in cooperation with surrounding communities and watershed management organizations, is responsible for environmentally sound management of water resources within the Park District.
Water Quality Monitoring
Water Resources Management regularly collects samples from ten lakes at two-week intervals throughout the summer. Samples are compared with those collected from previous years to track water quality trends and determine the success of our management efforts.
During the summer months, we also monitor beach water quality weekly for E. coli bacteria levels, swimmer’s itch, leeches, and weed and algae problems, and make efforts to minimize bacteria sources and control nuisance populations of aquatic organisms.
Water Quality Improvement
The Lake Rebecca fishery has been negatively affected by poor water quality. The primary cause of the poor water quality in Lake Rebecca is
excess phosphorus. To improve water quality and enhance the fishery, a water quality improvement project was put in place.
Water Quality Management is responsible for providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water from over 50 wells in the Park District. In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, we monitor the quality of all wells each spring and throughout the summer to ensure safe drinking water.
Exotic Species Control
To protect the ecological diversity of water resources, we are actively involved in efforts to control the spread of exotic species within Park District lakes. Water Quality Management coordinates with lake homeowner associations, the Department of Natural Resources and the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District to prevent the introduction of exotic species into Minnesota lakes and develop cost-effective control methods for lakes that are already impacted.
Pollution Reduction Programs
We work to identify pollution sources in water resources by periodically measuring the quantity and quality of inflow. Phosphorus, which is present in runoff from developed and urban areas, can be particularly problematic in lakes, causing algae blooms and excessive plant growth. One of our core efforts is to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering our lakes. Water Quality Management develops individual restoration plans to minimize the impact of development plans in the area and improve lake water quality.