Putting Drinking Water First in Minnesota

Putting Drinking Water First: Clean Water Action believes that everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water. We are making drinking water impacts a primary consideration when developing regulations and other programs involving upstream activities that can impact downstream drinking water sources.

  • Water Infrastructure Investments: Dangerously outdated infrastructure remains a huge threat to our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water quality. From combined sewer overflows to old lead service lines, our water infrastructure needs to be updated to protect water resources for future generations.
  • Tracking Contaminants of Emerging Concern:  People and industry use tens of thousands of chemicals. A vast array of these chemicals has been found in the environment, where we consider them contaminants of emerging concern or CECs. Most of these CECs have not been fully evaluated for the risks they might pose to the environment— or to our health.
  • Reducing Lead Exposure- Lead is a highly poisonous metal and can affect almost every organ in the body and the nervous system. The wide spread contamination of drinking water in Flint, MI, has also raised many concerns about lead in our drinking water and in public places such as schools. We are working to enact policies that will reduce our exposure to lead and make Minnesota Lead Free.
  • Reducing Salt in our Water: In winter, salt is applied to roads and walkways to melt ice and snow — this is where most of the chloride in our water comes from. The salt dissolves, runs into storm drains, and most storm drains go directly into local waterways.
  • Protecting Groundwater: Nearly 75% of Minnesotans get their drinking water from groundwater sources. To protect groundwater the legislature passed the Groundwater Protection Act in 1989.
Girl drinking water, photo: Aqua Mechanical

PFC Contamination in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health recently lowered PFC drinking water guidance levels. What you need to know about PFC drinking water contamination.

Zebra mussels

Aquatic Invasive Species / Invasive (Asian) Carp

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) come in a variety of forms from invasive (Asian) carp to zebra mussels to viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). AIS describes non-native species that have the potential to invade, become established, and harm the ecology of Minnesota’s waters.

Lake Erie Algal Bloom - August 2015. Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Water Infrastructure in the Great Lakes:

Turning the “Rust Belt” into the “Water Belt”

Road salt ends up in Minnesota lakes and rivers. Photo: flickr.com/mango_sparrow (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Preventing Chloride from Damaging Minnesota Water

As Minnesotans, we love our waters — it’s part of who we are. But lakes and creeks in our cities are getting salty. Thirty-nine water bodies in the Twin Cities Metro Area are above EPA standards for chloride — a byproduct of salt — including Como Lake, Diamond Lake, Powderhorn Lake, Wirth Lake, Bassett Creek, Battle Creek, Elm Creek, and Minnehaha Creek!