Water Quality Monitoring

Water Quality Monitoring

Le Sueur County, Le Sueur SWCD, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency help track and monitor water quality trends for Le Sueur County's streams, rivers, and lakes.  Sampling efforts for each stream, river, and lake vary dependent on local and state priorities as well as resources that are available to help collect water sampling data.

In general, a significant portion of streams, rivers, and lakes within Le Sueur County are impaired or have some type of stressor. Impairments or stressors that are found within Le Sueur County's water resources include: Phosphorus, Nitrates, Sediment, E.Coli, Chlorides, Connectivity, Altered Hydrology, and Habitat.

Phosphorus is one of the main threats to lakes.  Excess nutrients can deplete dissolved oxygen levels and encourage growth of algae causing the lakes to be green and slimy.  In some cases, blue green algae can appear which is toxic and makes water resources unsuitable for recreation.

Our streams and rivers are particularly susceptible to sediment loading due to hydrologic issues such as lack of storage, increased water volume and flows, and altered hydrology.  Often we see our streams and rivers exhibit bank erosion and runoff issues due to these hydrologic issues.  Furthermore, some river and stream stretches lack sufficient riparian habitat which is impacting our aquatic biota.

Water Data

To access raw data on water bodies that are monitored within Le Sueur County, please visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's webpage.

To access the Minnesota DNR online tool for lakes, please visit the Minnesota DNR Lakefinder webpage.  Information that is available includes: location, water access sites, lake maps, stocking report, ice in/out, water quality, aquatic plant surveys, fish surveys, and lake level data. 

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Additional Resources

Volunteer Water Monitoring

The Volunteer Water Monitoring program for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is critical for understanding water clarity in lakes and streams located throughout Minnesota.  This program has existed for 50 years!  No prior experience is required to become a volunteer!  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency provides the equipment and training needed.  Volunteers are asked to collect water clarity data twice a month.  For streams, the season lasts from April to September.  For lakes, the season lasts from May to September.

To find out more information about how to sign up as a volunteer, please visit the the following website: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/get-engaged/find-a-site-and-sign-up

Not sure if a stream or lake already has monitoring efforts?  Take a look at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Water Monitoring Map!