ROCHESTER, Minn. - Forty percent of Minnesota waters are considered 'impaired' by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, meaning they fail to meet one or more water quality standards. These standards determine how many pollutants can be in the water until it is considered unsafe for use.
"It's disappointing that we see that high of a percentage that are not meeting good standards," Mark Frederickson said.
He volunteers in the spring through fall as a volunteer water monitor for the MPCA.
According to the list of impaired waters, the MPCA considers every major Rochester waterway to be impaired.
To do his part to help keep area waters clean, Frederickson and his wife Kathy Sullivan frequently pick up trash during their walks around Silver Lake.
"You don't have to wait for a clean-up day if you're out walking anyway," explains Frederickson. "You know, that seems like it's a little thing... but the more people do that, the less plastic, and trash, and pollution will make its way into our lakes and rivers."
To look at an interactive map of impaired rivers and and the draft of the 2018 Impaired Waters List, click here.