Loon Lake Water Quality Demonstration Project
Jackson County, MN | Water
With the support of ISG grant specialists, Jackson County received a $75,000 grant from the Dickinson County Iowa Clean Water Alliance to improve water quality, enhance resiliency, and support recreation and habitat for Loon Lake and the Iowa Great Lakes downstream.
The long-term health of the Loon Lake water system was impaired for nutrients with phosphorus being a primary concern. Jackson Judicial Ditch 8 (JD8), the receiving waterbody for Loon Lake, was compromised for benthic macroinvertebrates and fish bioassessments and had formed a delta of sediment where JD8 flows into Loon Lake.
Several Best Management Practices (BMPs) are being proposed and implemented to improve water quality in the short -and long term. Repairs to the JD8 open ditch are currently being constructed, and a Minnesota Clean Water Fund grant has been submitted to implement additional practices. Once received, the funds will support the design and construction of a 4.6-acre wetland along the JD8 open ditch, providing water storage and allowing sediment and nutrients to settle out before entering Loon Lake. The wetland is estimated to capture 513 tons of sediment and 320 pounds of phosphorus annually. Seventeen alternative side inlets (ASIs) are also proposed to improve open ditch bank stability, reduce bank erosion, temporarily store water in the ditch buffer, and allow sediment and nutrients to settle out before reaching the open ditch. The ASIs will capture approximately 52 tons of sediment and 72 pounds of phosphorus each year. Together, these practices will benefit both Loon Lake in southern Minnesota and the downstream Iowa Great Lakes in northern Iowa—highlighting the powerful impact of projects that cross state boundaries.
ISG supported the state grant application submission to the Dickinson County Iowa Clean Water Alliance that resulted in a $75,000 grant and an additional $18,000 in matching funds. An additional $390,000 has been requested through Minnesota’s Clean Water Fund, and recipients will be announced in December 2022.