Stormwater project protects Lake Bemidji, Mississippi River

Beltrami SWCD’s Clean Water Fund-backed project in Bemidji targets nutrient-impaired Lake Irving, but its benefits extend to Lake Bemidji and beyond. The work will safeguard a source of Twin Cities drinking water, contain the flow in case of an oil spill, beautify a bike trail and increase pollinator habitat.

An iron enhanced sand filter is part of the Beltrami County SWCD’s Clean Water Fund-backed stormwater project designed to improve the water quality of nutrient-impaired Lake Irving, which flows into Lake Bemidji and then the Mississippi River. From left: Zach Gutknecht, Beltrami County SWCD clean water specialist, checked on progress Sept. 9 in Bemidji with Tim Terrill, executive director of the Mississippi Headwaters Board; Shawn Tracy, HR Green lead scientist; and Chad Severts, BWSR board conservationist. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
The Lake Irving ditch is being re-meandered to look and function more like a stream.
Gutknecht, center, visited the construction site of a stormwater treatment project Sept. 9 in Bemidji with Tracy, right, and Severts. Project partners include the city of Bemidji, the Mississippi Headwaters Board and Enbridge.
The project will keep an estimated 233 pounds of phosphorus out of Lake Irving each year.
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.