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Storms lead to excess runoff in Minnesota River

Published 9:50am Monday, June 30, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A state pollution official said the torrential downpours this month have washed nearly a year’s worth of sediment into the Minnesota River and its tributaries.

Reports said the high-intensity rain led to excess stormwater flowing into the river.

Pat Baskfield coordinates a statewide river-monitoring program for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Baskfield said events such as the June storms can account for 80 percent of the sediment load that passes through the river in a year.

Baskfield said the rainwater washed phosphorus and other fertilizers from farms and river banks into the river. Now levels are as much as 10 times the proposed pollution limit.