River Monitoring & Assessment


Image of Mississippi River near downtown St. Paul, MNIn 1927, the Minnesota and Wisconsin Boards of Health declared the Mississippi River a public health hazard.  Raw sewage and other wastes were discharged directly into the river.  At that time, a predecessor agency to MCES began assessing the Mississippi River’s water quality.  Today, more than 150 river miles are monitored in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, via 22 long-term monitoring sites on 5 rivers: the Mississippi, Minnesota, St. Croix, Rum, and Vermillion Rivers.  These large rivers are monitored for a variety of physical, chemical, and biological variables, to document long-term changes in water quality and assess and characterize biological communities and riverbed sediments.

The four major components of the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) River Monitoring Program include:

View map of MCES river monitoring network (pdf)

See the most recent River Quality Technical Summary. (pdf).

Data & Report Requests
    River Monitoring Reports

    Older reports not available on our web site may be obtained by emailing a request to MCES