At Blue Mounds State Park, 2014 water woes carrying over into this year


A state park in southwestern Minnesota that had the blues in 2014 will find relief only very gradually this year.

At Blue Mounds State Park, a double whammy of contaminated water followed by flood damage created inconvenience and uncertainty, with some questions unlikely to be answered until well into the new year, the Worthington Daily Globe reports.

It was still springtime when E. coli bacteria turned up in the water supply. That discovery meant campers had to bring their own water with them, dampening the flow of visitors during the usually-popular early weeks of summer.

The following month things got more than damp when torrential rains produced floodwaters that blew out a dam spillway protecting the park's swimming beach, which is Rock County's only water recreation site, the Globe says.

Blue Mounds State Park manager Chris Ingebretsen tells the Globe the drilling of a new, deeper well wrapped up in April, and he expects the park will have potable water again this spring.

As for repairing the dam structure on Mill Creek (pictured above before the floods), Ingebretsen says the state is still awaiting a ruling from FEMA on whether the flood damage qualifies for rebuilding money from the federal government.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is sizing up the pros and cons of having the dam, as it considers whether to rebuild it. No dam means less sediment, cleaner water, and more habitat for an endangered fish species, the Topeka Shiner.

On the other hand, closing the swimming beach for good would reduce visitors and revenue at one of southwestern Minnesota's few state parks, where renting canoes and kayaks has been been part of the fun.

There are plenty of other ways to have fun at Blue Mounds, though, ranging from hiking and rock climbing to viewing tallgrass prairie and the state's biggest free-roaming bison herd. Find a photo tour here.

Park managers just hope that this year's rains won't be accompanied by an outpouring of problems.

Next Up

Tim Walz

Walz to hold press conference on MN State Capitol safety concerns

This comes amid ongoing threats to state Capitols across the country.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Brooklyn Park standoff: Suspect kills himself, child taken hostage is safe

The standoff ended Thursday night when the suspect shot himself.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies in alley after report of shooting in Minneapolis

Police were sent to the scene by ShotSpotter activation.


COVID-19 shines a light on the struggles facing Minnesota's working mothers

Daycare and school closures have put working families under pressure, with mothers bearing the brunt.

Prada Purse2

Border patrol in Minneapolis intercepts shipment of 173 counterfeit designer bags

If they were authentic, they would have been worth about $405,975.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis councilors propose replacing police department, rent stabilization

Council members are also proposing two charter amendments to help renters in Minneapolis.

Vaccine COVID

MDH expands COVID guidance, urges providers to vaccinate the 65+

More vaccine guidance will be provided in the coming days.

Tom Brady

Coller: Which remaining teams should the Vikings emulate?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 3.33.57 PM

Serious crime was up 15% in St. Paul in 2020

“This was an incredibly hard year for all of us,” Police Chief Todd Axtell said, citing riots and the pandemic.


Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 14

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 26.