Upper Mississippi River Clean Water Act Monitoring Minnesota-Wisconsin Area Pilot Project


The Upper Mississippi River Clean Water Act Recommended Monitoring Plan (UMR CWA Monitoring Plan) was developed by the interagency Upper Mississippi River Basin Association Water Quality Task Force to address the lack of a coordinated, comprehensive Clean Water Act (CWA) monitoring approach on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). The UMR CWA Monitoring Plan was adopted by the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA) Board in February 2014 and is structured as a series of networks that uniquely and comprehensively support assessment of aquatic life, fish consumption, recreation, and drinking water use attainment on the UMR; utilizing both newly collected data and existing data sets (Figure 1). This includes both fixed site and probabilistically-selected monitoring locations.


Following the UMRBA Board’s approval, the states have moved forward to implement the UMR CWA Monitoring Plan. Implementation steps have included compiling existing water quality data in a “virtual pilot” effort, as well as planning for a field pilot to be conducted by the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin on a subset of the UMR’s upper reaches, beginning in May 2016. 1.3 Field Operations Manual Scope and Applicability This UMR CWA Pilot Monitoring Project Field Operations Manual (Pilot Manual) has been developed to provide the technical and procedural detail necessary for the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well CWA ASSESSMENT-FOCUSED NETWORKS LOADING-FOCUSED NETWORK Reach-Based Probability Sampling Aquatic Life, Fish Consumption, Recreation Tributary Loading Network Nutrient and Sediment Loads Main Stem Fixed Site Sampling Aquatic Life, Recreation, Drinking Water Follow-Up Sampling Aquatic Life, Fish Consumption Draft UMR CWA Pilot Monitoring Field Operations Manal - Page 4 as other partners, to implement UMR CWA pilot monitoring. While it will inform sampling procedures UMR-wide, the nature of the pilot is such that changes and improvements are expected to be made as a result of this initial effort. Therefore, it is likely that a revised operations manual will follow completion of pilot monitoring. Further, the pilot monitoring project is somewhat reduced in scope from the “full” monitoring program described in the UMR CWA Monitoring Plan. Specifically, the following components are not part of the Minnesota-Wisconsin pilot monitoring project:  There are no public water supply intakes on the shared Minnesota-Wisconsin portion of the UMR. As such, no monitoring will be done for drinking water use-only analytes (e.g., VOCs, SOCs, phenols, and fluoride).  Metals will not be sampled at probabilistic sites during the pilot project.  Algal toxins (microcystin and cylindrospermopsin) will not be sampled as part of the pilot project.  (WI has indicated fish tissue monitoring may not be part of pilot in reaches 2-3. Need to confirm.)  Follow-up sampling and monitoring for secondary indicators (e.g., sediment chemistry) is not explicitly addressed in the pilot, though such monitoring may occur at the discretion of the states.  Index site monitoring will not be part of the pilot project.  The tributary loading network will not be sampled as part of the pilot project. Therefore, because this Pilot Manual is scoped only to describe sampling that will actually occur during the pilot, it does not necessarily provide all the information needed to implement full monitoring river-wide. Additionally, this Pilot Manual is focused on field operations. As such, it does not provide extensive detail on sample site selection, laboratory analytical methods, data management, data analysis/score calculation, or CWA designated use assessment.

Study Design

The UMR CWA Monitoring Plan specifies sampling across a wide extent of parameters. As previously described, the pilot monitoring project will include most, but not all, of these parameters, as displayed in Table 2. In brief, the pilot focuses on fixed site and the probabilistic networks, while dropping some indicators (e.g., probabilistic network metals) that are specified in the full Plan. As described previously, the pilot project focuses on the fixed site and probabilistic network, which are central to providing a robust characterization of the UMR’s condition under the UMR CWA Monitoring Plan. A brief description of these networks and the sampling conducted under each of them follows. Further detail is provided under the indicator group-specific procedures later in this manual. The fixed site network is composed of 20 stations on the UMR, with at least one fixed site placed in each of the CWA assessment reaches and additional sites in reaches where a drinking water intake is present. There are no drinking water intakes in the pilot reaches. Therefore, in the area covered by the pilot monitoring project, there are just four fixed sites as shown in Table 3 and Figure 3. Sampling responsibilities for these fixed sites are also indicated in Table 3. See attached draft document.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Related-Projects

Targeted Monitoring
Special Project
Reports and Documents
The purpose of this report is to explore the water quality data collected as part of the CWA Pilot study in greater detail, including parameters that were not part of the Water Quality Condition Assessment Report.
Summary of Mississippi River water quality, vegetation, invertebrate and fisheries data from Minneapolis, MN to La Crosse, WI. Detailed analysis of condition class by geomorphic reach for recreation, aquatic life and fish consumption.
Report outlining technical. logistical, budgetary and personnel perspectives related to the execution of the Mississippi River Clean Water Act Pilot conducted in conjunction with Minnesota.
A two page fact sheet outlining results and logistical considerations resulting from execution of the UMR Clean Water Act Pilot conducted in conjunction with Minnesota.