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The federal Clean Water Act requires states to adopt water quality standards to protect lakes, streams, and wetlands from pollution. The standards define how much of a pollutant (bacteria, nutrients, turbidity, mercury, etc.) can be in the water and still meet designated uses, such as drinking water, fishing, and swimming. A water body is “impaired” if it fails to meet one or more water quality standards. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is responsible for assessing the lakes and streams in Minnesota for impairments.
Wetlands 101 (24 KB)
More information is available on MPCA’s website at: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/index.html
Learn more about TURBIDITY and its effect on Olmsted County’s water quality in this video clip: