4.4 Public Health

Goal 4 - Public Health

Minimize the risks of threats to public health through the development of programs, plans and policies that improve the quality of surface and groundwater resources.

Discussion

There are several potential threats to public health in the Dutch Lake subwatershed.  A portion of the subwatershed is outside the Municipal Urban Services Area (MUSA), and property owners use individual sewage treatment systems for their sanitary service.  Agricultural and animal husbandry land uses generate and use animal waste that if improperly managed could be a source of pathogens.  Where sewer service is available, sewage overflows from breaks or improperly functioning infrastructure could result in overflows discharged to downstream water resources.   An additional potential source of pathogens is waterfowl, which are attracted to open water with easy routes from the water to vegetation on shore.  The District’s role in minimizing the threats to public health in the Dutch Lake subwatershed is mainly to provide targeted information to landowners and LGUs.

Desired Outcomes:  Minimization of threats to public health from contact with contaminated surface waters.

Metrics:  Reported cases of illness transmission via surface water contact.

Goal 4.1 - Dutch Lake

 Develop and implement a plan to systematically identify animal waste management and individual sewage treatment syatem locations in the subwatershed and assess the risks to human health and water quality.

 Actions

  1. Work cooperatively with the state, University of Minnesota Extension Service, Hennepin County and LGUs to provide animal waste management information and technical assistance to landowners engaged in plant and animal agriculture or husbandry.
  2. Work cooperatively with the state, Hennepin County and LGUs to provide BMP information and technical assistance to individual sewage treatment system owners.

Goal 4.2 - Dutch Lake

Maintain a vegetated shoreline on Dutch Lake where practical and effective to reduce overpopulation with waterfowl.

 Actions

  1. Conduct a shoreline vegetation survey to identify current shoreline status and to identify locations where restoration may be desirable and feasible.
  2. Promote native vegetation over structural shoreline stabilization where practical and effective in District policies, regulations, and programs.
  3. Work cooperatively with LGUs and property owners to restore native shoreline vegetation where appropriate.
  4. Provide education and training opportunities, technical and planning assistance, and demonstration project funding to LGUs to assist them in restoring shorelines and buffers on public property such as parks and open spaces, taking into consideration the balance between recreational use and ecosystem needs.
  5. Develop and distribute written material to shoreline property owners explaining the benefits of shoreline restoration and buffer creation to waterfowl control and providing design, plant selection, installation, and maintenance advice.

Goal 4.3 - Dutch Lake

Require LGUs and other agencies to manage public sanitary sewer infrastructure to minimize sewage overflows and to minimize impacts from those overflows on District water resources.