City of Ramsey

Connecting water to business, health and community vitality

The City or Ramsey held its 9th annual Business Expo (4/1/2017). At the Expo was the Anoka County Water Task Force representing the various local and state agencies that monitor water resources in our communities and support initiatives to keep our lakes, streams, rivers and groundwater clean and sustainable.

Anoka County water resources are too often taken for granted. When we turn the faucet on we expect safe drinking water to fill our glass or to make juice and coffee. We expect all the water we want for our lawns, to wash our clothes-dishes-cars, flush toilets, and take showers. Local water resources support manufacturing, agriculture, commercial, recreational facilities and businesses.

Ramsey Business Expo2 (407x270)

The Water Task Force table at the 9th annual City of Ramsey Business Expo

And there are the biggest water users in Anoka County, the public utilities. Communities have established public water supply systems that operate like a business. They construct groundwater wells, water towers, and water mains to deliver water to residents and businesses who pay a fee for the service availability and the water they use.

With population growth and development our dependence on our water resources have grown too. And, Anoka County isn’t finished growing. However, local natural resources (e.g. lakes and groundwater aquifers) don’t grow.  Ensuring the sustainability and quality of local water resources is a responsibility shared by everyone.

The Anoka County Water Task Force brings together residents, businesses, public utilities, communities and service organizations to address our water challenges. Topics addressed at the Water Task Force booth included:

Ramsey Business Expo 2017 (slide2)

Lawn conversion video series

Thinking of lawn renovation? This series might help you decide.

Thinking of lawn renovation? This series might help you decide.

Do you have a weedy lawn or a lawn currently composed of high maintenance turfgrass species and you want transition to something that takes less work and is better for the environment?  If so, please have a look at this series of 7 videos sponsored by the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation.  This process is best accomplished in the fall from August 15th to September 15th, but spring conversions are possible as well.  Following the last step, erosion control, you’ll want to be sure to keep the seedbed moist throughout the germination period, which is generally 7-14 days.  Light, frequent irrigation cycles, approximately 3-4 times per day, will ensure adequate and timely germination.  A special thank you to Extension Educator, Karl Foord for coordination and production of these videos. Enjoy!

Anoka Conservation District

Anoka water almanac 2016 is now available

The 2016 Anoka Water Almanac (20+ Mb) provides a comprehensive review of the quantity and quality of Anoka County water resources in 2016.  This almanac summarizes water resources management and monitoring work done as a cooperative effort between the Anoka Conservation District the watershed districts or watershed management organizations.

The Almanac presents water information on a watershed basis (that also serves as an annual report for the watershed organization that helps fund the work). Do you know which of the seven watersheds in Anoka County that you are located? If you want to learn about the current condition or trends in your local water (quality or quantity) the Water Almanac is a good place to start.

For more information contact the Anoka Conservation District’s Water Resources Specialist, Jamie Schurbon, at 763-434-2030.

The Almanac summarizes water information and projects performed by the Anoka Conservation District.

The Almanac summarizes water information.

National Fix A Leak Week (US EPA)

Fix-A-Leak Week (March 20-26, 2017)

Get into Fix-A-Leak Week. Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year we hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week. But remember that you can check your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems, fix the leaks, and save valuable water and money all year long.

Water efficiency is the smart use of our water resources through water-saving technologies and simple steps we can all take around the house. Using water efficiently will help ensure reliable water supplies today and for future generations.

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water” (Benjamin Franklin).

From family fun runs to leak detection contests to WaterSense demonstrations, Fix a Leak Week events happen from coast to coast and are all geared to teach you how to find and fix household leaks.

Rain Barrel (image)

Order your rain barrel & compost bin to recycle rainwater and reduce waste

Have you noticed a river of rainwater run down your driveway into the gutter, ditch, or storm sewer? Collecting rain-soft roof runoff in a barrel is a good way to reuse/conserve high quality water. Rain barrels have been around for thousands of years, but today people are re-discovering that they also protect our local water while saving money on water bills and having a ready source of natural rainwater to nurture plants and gardens (instead of hard groundwater from wells, chlorine from treated public water or sodium salt-softener water).

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) is holding a series of events to distribute rain barrels and compost bins. Pre-order a rain barrel, compost bin, or both on the RAM website and then pick up your order at the event of your choice. Some local distribution events include:

  • Sat. 9am-2pm on April 22nd at the Green Expo at National Sports Center [order]*
  • Fri. 8am-5pm on April 28th at City of Hugo Public Works [order]
  • Sat. 8am-Noon on April 29th at City of Anoka Public Works [order]*

*Anoka County residents are eligible for $20 reduction in the cost of the compost bin at the Green Expo and City of Anoka Public Works events.

For more information, please contact Beth at 651-641-4589 or email:

EDUCATORS: consider installing a rain barrel at your school as a practical tool to demonstrate the sustainable use of water resources outside the classroom window. Contact your local watershed management organization or the Anoka Conservation District to learn about education grants that may be available.

Anoka County Water Task Force

Most important community health issue: water

The Anoka County Community Health Board has determined that water quality and sustainable drinking water is a most important community health issue. Addressing water involves the participation of community leaders, organizations, residents and businesses.

Residents need safe drinking water. Businesses need an adequate and sustained supply of good quality water. Communities need natural resources that are managed well. The source of Anoka County’s drinking water is found within its communities through the use of public and private water wells (ground water).  *The exception is Columbia Heights and Hilltop that are supplied by  the Mississippi River.

Over the past five years, Minnesota statutes, rules and programs have been modified to address water resources. The focus has been to ensure that the use of groundwater is sustainable and does not impact aquifer levels, surface water features (lakes, streams and wetlands) or water quality. Water issues are often local issues that call for community-based solutions.

Middle and northern Anoka County communities have an impressive amount of land available for growth and development. Water use – to supply growing demand – must be balanced to ensure that natural features (lakes, streams and wetlands) are not harmed.  And the amount of water used must not impact water resources needed to supply future generations. However, the amount and availability of groundwater is not as well understood as the land over it.

N&E Metro GWMA (Mar. 5, 2014)

North & East Metro Groundwater Management Area

Southern and southeastern Anoka County communities are fully, or near fully, developed. Water use (demand) is not expected to change significantly. However the amount of water used has become a concern for the sustainability of local water features. These communities have been included in the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area to find solutions to declining lake and groundwater levels.

The Anoka County Water Task Force brings together residents and businesses with representatives of local agencies and organizations to determine the most important water issues within Anoka County communities. The Task Force advises the Anoka County Human Services Committee and communities for the benefit and health of our residents, our economic vitality, and our natural resources that we depend on for sustainable and safe drinking water. The Know The Flow website ( provides information about opportunities to keep our local water resources safe to drink and sustainable for the next generation.

National Ground Water Awareness Week (logo)

How well is your drinking water?

Nearly everyone in Anoka County depends on groundwater. Private well owners must take measures to regularly test their drinking water. Municipal water users must cooperate to protect the source of the community’s water from pollution. That includes protecting the groundwater that is drawn into private (home) and public (municipal) supply wells.

National Groundwater Awareness Week (March 5-11) brings attention to the important role that groundwater plays in the health and wellbeing of people. Anoka County Environmental Services and the Minnesota Department of Health recommend all home and cabin well owners follow the “three C’s” of well maintenance :

Cap – ensure the well cap is securely attached and not broken or missing, and the connections through the cap are watertight.

Casing – check the well pipe for cracks or corrosion damage. The casing should extend 12 inches above ground level.

Conduit – confirm that the conduit for the electric service wire to the well is securely connected to the well cap.

Anoka County Environmental Services provides water testing services  to residents and recommends that private well owners test their well annually for total coliform bacteria and nitrate-nitrogen. If a private well owner does not have an arsenic test result – they are encouraged to test the water once to determine if concentration of arsenic it is above the safe drinking water standard.

For more information contact Anoka County Environmental Services at 763-422-7063.

Apply now to be a GreenCorps host!

Minnesota Green Corps (logo)

The Minnesota Green Corps, a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) program, is now accepting applications from organizations interested in hosting an AmeriCorps member for the 2017-2018 program year.  Applications from eligible organizations interested in hosting MN GreenCorps members are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Host site application materials, including a detailed guidance document and the application are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website. Please direct questions to

The MPCA plans to place up to 40 full-time members with various host sites across the state. Members serve approximately 40 hours a week for 11 months beginning in mid to late September 2017 through August 2018.

Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA, which places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues, while gaining experience and learning valuable job skills.

Eligible organizations include public entities (local, regional, state, tribal), school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Organizations may apply for Minnesota GreenCorps members who will serve on projects in the areas of:

  • Air Quality (including Energy Conservation and Green Transportation)
  • Waste Prevention and Recycling
  • Green Infrastructure (including Local Foods, Stormwater, and Urban Forestry)
  • Living Green

To apply to be a host site and for more information on the program, please visit

Minnesota GreenCorps Video

MN GreenCorps YouTube video

Minnesota Department of Health (logo)

Public Water Supply – Plan Implementation Grants Available

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announces the availability of Source Water Implementation Grant funding to support the implementation of source water protection plans or Transient Non-community.  Source water protection plans are either 1) wellhead protection plans; or 2) surface water intake protection plans that have been endorsed by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Grant Awards. The total amount of funding that is available under this notice is $175,000. The minimum amount for any grant is $1,000 and the maximum amount is $10,000.

Matching Funds. No cost share is required for receiving a grant and all of the funds that are awarded must be expended by June 30, 2018.

Applications for this grant program are accepted between Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT).

Each eligible public water system can submit only one application per grant program announcement.

There are two of grant categories availability: Source Water Implementation  and Transient Noncommunity Wellhead Protection. Applications for each this grant will be accepted between March 1 and March 25, 2017.  The forms will be available by March 1, 2017.

For more information, contact Kris Wenner (Source Water Protection Grant Coordinator, 651-201-4696) Drinking Water Protection Minnesota Department of Health 625 N. Robert Street, PO Box 64975, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975.

Wellhead Protection Area

Water Droplet

Citizens Monitoring Anoka County Waters (Thank You)

Anoka County communities owe citizen volunteers our gratitude for monitoring and reporting water quality data. Resident volunteers collect periodic water clarity information for the Minnesota’s Citizen Stream Monitoring and Citizen Lake Monitoring Programs.

The data collected by citizens is entered and maintained in a Lake and Stream Database  used by residents, lake associations, schools, community organizations, watershed management organizations, and city and county agencies (parks, utilities, environmental and health departments) to determine current conditions and trends in the quality of our shared water resources.

Become a citizen lake or stream monitoring volunteer to gather vital information about the quality of our water resources.

Become a citizen lake or stream monitoring volunteer to gather vital information about the quality of our water resources.



VOLUNTEERS WANTED. There are lakes and streams that the Water Monitoring Program is encouraging volunteers to monitor including:

  • PRIORITY: Cedar Creek at Co. 9 (Oak Grove);
  • PRIORITY: Seelye Brook at Co. 7 (Oak Grove);
  • PRIORITY: West branch of the Sunrise River near Co. Rd. 19 (Linwood);
  • Amelia (Lino Lakes);
  • Baldwin (Lino Lakes);
  • Cedar (Lino Lakes);
  • Centerville (Centerville);
  • Crossways (Columbus);
  • Deer (East Bethel);
  • Fish (East Bethel);
  • George (Oak Grove);
  • George Watch (Lino Lakes);
  • Howard (Columbus).
  • Minard (East Bethel);
  • Mud (Oak Grove);
  • Neds (East Bethel);
  • Reshanau (Lino Lakes);
  • Rice (Circle Pines);
  • Rice Creek Marsh (Lino Lakes);
  • Rondeau (Centerville);
  • Round (Anoka);

Secchi Disc Water Clarity Measurement (image)To learn more about the Citizen Science Water Monitoring Program visit the MPCA’s Citizen Water Monitoring web page or view the videos: MPCA Citizen Science Program (MPCA YouTube; 3:46); EPA Volunteers Make Citizen Science Work (EPA YouTube; 2:12) or call the MPCA at 651-296-6300 and ask to speak to the Citizen Water Monitoring program coordinator.

To sign up to become a Citizen Lake Monitoring volunteer visit the CLMP sign-up web page.

To sign up to become a Citizen Stream Monitoring volunteer visit the CSMP sign-up web page.

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