Final Report: Your Water Your Future – A Residential Household Survey To Assess Our Water Future

water_reportThe continued expansion in residential growth in McLean County impacts water quality and quantity in many ways, including raising concerns about the availability of water for the future. Yet, much of the current research on non-point source pollution continues to focus on agricultural producers as the primary source, with very little emphasis on the impacts from the growing residential populations. To address these concerns, Mclean County Soil and Water Conservation District, in collaboration with Illinois State University, conducted a watershed social assessment, with an emphasis on the Lake Bloomington and Evergreen Lake Watersheds, during the summer of 2015. A random sample of 939 households in Bloomington, north Normal, Towanda, Hudson, and Lake Bloomington were selected to participate in the survey and a total of 550 households completed the survey, for an overall response rate of 58%.

Overall, respondents generally agree that they have a personal responsibility to protect water quality. Findings from this study will be used to help inform and design future outreach and education activities to increase the adoption of BMPs among the growing residential population. Findings will also be used to help update the current watershed management plans for Lake Bloomington Watershed and Evergreen Lake Watershed to better address the growing residential population. Funding for this project provided, in part, by the Governor of Illinois and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

Final Report: Your Water Your Future – A Residential Household Survey To Assess Our Water Future

Study Report

Water Your Opinions: A Social Assessment of the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen Watersheds

Study ReportThe Mclean County Soil and Water Conservation District, in collaboration with Illinois State University, has received funding from the Illinois EPA to conduct a watershed social assessment, with an emphasis on the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen Watersheds.  Water supply and water quality are critically important issues for both human health and the health of the natural environment we depend on to meet our basic needs. Despite the importance of water to our society, pollution and poor planning for how we use our water resources are growing problems. To address these issues the US EPA and the Illinois EPA provide funding for plans to protect these resources at the watershed scale. Efforts to plan for water use and protect water quality in watershed plans must incorporate social science to be successful, as it is people’s understandings and behaviors that must change to protect our water resources.

The first step in the current research process was a qualitative assessment of current perceptions, concerns, and desires for water resources in and around the watersheds by interviewing key stakeholders.  This assessment was conducted by Graduate Students at the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development between August and December, 2014.  The attached report documents the initial findings from this process.  These data will be used to help develop a residential household survey that will be administered to a random selection of households in Bloomington, Normal, Hudson, and Towanda during May, 2015.

Overall, the project has five primary goals:

  • Evaluate urban resident’s general level of knowledge and concerns of water quality and the effects of their activities on water quality and the practices they currently use that effect water quality (BMPs)
  • Evaluate onsite waste system knowledge and practice
  • Evaluate knowledge of and opinions of water conservation activities on water quality and quantity
  • Provide critical data to direct future outreach and education efforts
  • Provide vital social data to inform an update of the current watershed management plans to more directly address social aspects of watershed management for the future.

Water Your Opinions: A Social Assessment of the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen Watersheds

McLean County, Illinois Stream Buffer Regulations

Article VII of this document contains regulations pertaining to establishing, maintaining and protecting areas of vegetation surrounding all streams within the local jurisdiction. This document also proposes to establish a minimal requirement for designing buffers to protect the water supplies in McLean County. Additionally, information about applying for permits for development near stream sites and design standards for proposed developments are included.

McLean County Stream Buffer Regulations

Normal, Illinois Stream Buffer Ordinance

Section 28.2 of this document contains regulations pertaining to establishing, maintaining and protecting  areas of vegetation surrounding all streams within the local jurisdiction. This document also proposes to establish a minimal requirement for designing buffers to protect the water supplies in Normal. Additionally, information about applying for permits for development near stream sites and design standards for proposed developments are included.

Normal stream buffer ordinance

What’s in Your Woodlands

In order to address problems with invasive species and loss of water quality due to pollution, this project would provide targeted small landowners in Woodford County an educational opportunity via a workshop on woodland and riparian establishment, restoration, and management. Topics covered in the workshop would include tree identification, tree planting and thinning techniques, prescribed burning, eradication of exotic species, and other practices that enhance woodland and riparian areas for wildlife habitat. The workshop would include speakers and displays from IDNR, NRCS, and other professional organizations or businesses, and also provide for a tour of properties where management strategies have been utilized.

What’s in Your Woodlands

Sensible Development for Small Communities ppt

This is a PowerPoint presentation on development within small communities and the environmental impacts that can result. This gives problems and potential solutions to decrease any factors that could potentially have a negative effect on the water quality.

Sensible Development for Small Communities ppt

Sangamon River/ Lake Decatur Watershed TMDL Report

Water quality standards are laws or regulations that states authorize to enhance water quality and protect public health and welfare. Water quality standards provide the foundation for accomplishing two of the principal goals of the CWA. These goals are: Restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters, achieve water quality that promotes protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, and provides for recreation in and on the water. This document examines the water quality and TMDL of the Sangamon River/Lake Decatur through extensive studies.

Sangamon River/ Lake Decatur Watershed TMDL Report

Summary of the Mackinaw River Watershed Management Plan 1998

The Mackinaw River Project Planning Team worked with experts to form a plan for improving water quality. The plan includes strategies, achievable goals, and specific recommendations. Sources of pollution were identified as agriculture, construction erosion, urban runoff, hydrologic modifications, and resource extraction activities. Recommendations were made for each of the following topics: agriculture, biological diversity, community issues, education, and agency coordination.

Summary of the Mackinaw River Watershed Management Plan 1998

Mackinaw River Watershed Project Implementation of Subwatershed Plans 7, 8, and 9

This project intends to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Mackinaw River and its tributaries. The primary focus of this effort will be the installation of Best Management Practices including nutrient management, forest and riparian management, wetland restoration, wetland construction, streambank restoration using native vegetation, rural detention basins, and alternative water devices for cattle that currently access the river for water.

Mackinaw_River_Watershed_Project_Implementation_of_Subwatershed_Plans_789

Salt Creek of Sangamon & Lower Sangamon River Watershed

This report is a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Salt Creek of Sangamon River and the Lower Sangamon River Watersheds. The purpose is to describe the watersheds, confirm impairments and identify the procedure for developing the TMDL.

 Salt Creek of Sangamon & Lower Sangamon River Watershed