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 some potential threats to public health in the Lake Virginia subwatershed.  Some of the subwatershed is outside the Municipal Urban Services Area (MUSA), and a small corner of the subwatershed currently used for agriculture would still be outside the service area as proposed for 2020.  Individual sewage treatment systems are potential sources of surface and groundwater contamination if improperly installed or maintained.  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 Lake Virginia 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 - Lake Virginia

Minimize risks to human health and water quality from land use activities.

Actions

  1. Develop and implement a plan to systematically identify animal waste management and individual sewage treatment system locations in the subwatershed and assess the risks to human health and water quality
  2. Work cooperatively with the state, University of Minnesota Extension Service, Carver County and LGUs to provide manure management information and technical assistance to landowners engaged in plant and animal agriculture.
  3. Work cooperatively with the state, Carver County and LGUs to provide BMP information and technical assistance to individual sewage treatment system owners

Goal 4.2 - Lake Virginia

Maintain a vegetated shoreline on the lakes where practical and effective to reduce overpopulation of the lake 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 appropriate in District policies, regulations, and programs.
  3. Work cooperatively with LGUs and property owners to restore native shoreline vegetation where appropriate.
    1. 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 in to consideration the balance between recreational use and ecosystem needs.
    2. 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 - Lake Virginia

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.