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Protecting Your Water

Pine City’s Water Resources

Within Pine City limits, there are two major bodies of water; the Snake River and Devils Lake. There are also two ponds on the southwestern border and Cross Lake is on the east-central border. Pine City draws their groundwater from the Hinckley and Hinckley-Fon Du Lac aquifers. The residents of Pine City rely on groundwater from those aquifers for their drinking water. The City of Pine City lies within the Snake River Watershed– St. Croix Basin and all of the storm water that accumulates in the city flows into the Snake River and Cross Lake.


Surface and Groundwater Contamination

Minnesota’s pride and joy are its lakes, rivers, and streams. But, pollutants have caused approximately 40% of Minnesota’s waters to become impaired. Our waters can become contaminated through point and non-point source pollution. Point source pollution is defined as “any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ditch, or smokestack” (Hill, 1997, EPA). The leeching of contaminants, such as oil or waste from industrial or personal storage tanks into the groundwater are the primary pathways that Pine City is taking steps to prevent contamination. Non-point source pollution is caused by water runoff picking up salt, fertilizer, and other contaminants being deposited in lakes, rivers, and streams.


How to Protect Pine City’s Water Resources

One of the most effective ways to protect Pine City’s water resources is to conserve and monitor personal water use.
  • Install a rain barrel to use for watering plants and grass.
  • Install low flow faucets, toilets, and shower heads.
  • If you are a resident of Pine City, your household qualifies to receive a free water conservation kit, courtesy of Minnesota Energy Resources. The kit includes two low- flow shower heads, one kitchen faucet aerator, and two bathroom faucet aerators. Low flow shower-heads put out 1.5 gallons of water per minute, compared to a standard of 2.5 gallons. The faucet aerators break water flow into fine droplets to maintain “wetting effectiveness” while using less water. These kits are available to pick up at City Hall.
  • Install and clean sewer grate filters regularly to prevent yard waste from getting into sewers.
  • Use salt sparingly when dealing with snow removal. Use birdseed or sand for traction on shoveled driveways.
  • When repaving, consider permeable pavement. Permeable pavement can help filter out pollutants in storm water and increases infiltration of water into the ground. 
  • When landscaping, plant native plants. Native plants use less water and can help increase water retention in soil
  • Plant trees. Root systems take up water and help create a condition where water readily is soaked up by the soil. Tree canopies also help reduce erosion by dispersing falling rain.
  • Install and maintain rain gardens. A rain garden is a low area in the landscape that collects rain water from roofs, driveways, and streets, and allows it to soak into the ground. 


Wellhead Protection

Most people in Minnesota get their drinking water from wells, and Pine City is no exception. Implementing a city-wide wellhead protection plan is the primary way to prevent our drinking water from becoming polluted by managing possible sources of contamination in the areas which supply water to public wells. Pine City’s wellhead protection plan was adopted in October 2016 and is implemented through October 2026. It outlines the current state of the city’s water resources, goals, wellhead protection goals, objectives and plans of action, and their evaluation. Click HERE view the full plan.