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News Release-Videos Examine Water Issues That Impact Homeowners

                       MN SEA GRANT NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 17, 1997
For More Information, Contact:  Barb Liukkonen (612) 625-9798


Water--it is easy to take for granted in Minnesota.  It surrounds us in lakes, 
streams, and wetlands and moves slowly beneath us in vast, underground aquifers.
It comes into our homes through faucets, gets flushed back out, and laps once 
again at our shores.  Water use brings its own responsibilities and problems.  
Septic systems, water conservation and shoreland property management are all 
water-related issues that impact homeowners.  Residents are often frustrated by 
impractical or conflicting recommendations from different sources.  To help 
"clear the waters," the Minnesota Arrowhead Water Quality Team has developed 
three videos that come with supporting written information.  They were filmed in
central and northern Minnesota, but their message applies regionally.

"The potential problems and solutions are appropriate across Minnesota and the 
Upper Midwest," said Barbara Liukkonen, water resources education coordinator 
for the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center.  "They're applicable 
wherever people develop property along lakes or rivers, and should be of 
interest to anyone concerned about protecting water quality and their property 
investment.  The videos and fact sheets are designed to give practical, 
easy-to-follow advice.  They offer the most current information, and the videos 
are easy to watch, with skilled actors and interviews with water resource 

Septic Systems Revealed:  A Guide to Operation, Care and Maintenance is a 
23-minute video that focuses on proper maintenance and operation of septic 
systems.  Using actual footage, computer graphics, and animation, it reveals the
"mysterious" process that occurs when septic system owners flush their toilets. 
It highlights the importance of proper septic system maintenance and care, and 
how household products people use can affect their system.  It includes a 
24-page septic system owners guide written by specialists from the Minnesota 
Extension Service (MES) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  These items
are available individually or as a set from county extension offices in 
Minnesota or from the MES Distribution Center, University of Minnesota, 1420 
Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN  55108-6069.  To order by check or credit card, or 
to inquire about quantity discounts, call (800) 876-8636 or (612) 624-4900 in 
the Twin Cities.  The cost is $4 for the Owner's Guide (order #PC-6583-NR4), $13
for the video (VH-6768-NR4), and $16 for the set (EP-6769-NR4).  Tax and 
shipping charges are extra.

Water Conservation, Managing our Precious Liquid Asset is a 21-minute video.  
It might seem counter-intuitive to ask people to save water in Minnesota, Land 
of 10,000 lakes, but conserving water can mean big savings -- not only on 
homeowners' water bills, but for municipalities and the environment as well.  
The video follows a practical, hands-on approach that takes people step-by-step 
through installing low flow faucets, shower-heads, and toilets, and introduces 
other water-saving habits.  It includes a water conservation fact sheet and is 
available for $12 from the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, 
P.O. Box 14, Two Harbors, MN 55616, (218) 834-6638.  Minnesota residents must 
add 6.5% sales tax.

Keeping Our Shores is an award-winning 15-minute video that introduces 
shoreland best management practices (BMPs) to lakeland property owners. The 
video highlights simple, practical and inexpensive actions property owners can 
take to protect water quality by maintaining a filter strip of vegetation on 
their beach, maintaining septic systems, caring for lawns and gardens, and 
working together as a community.  The video comes with a packet of 18 fact 
sheets, which stress inexpensive practices and habits that people can adopt to 
make a difference in the quality of their lake or river. The package is 
available for $20 from the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, 
P.O. Box 14, Two Harbors, MN 55616, (218) 834-6638.  Minnesota residents must 
add 6.5% sales tax.

The Minnesota Arrowhead Water Quality Team is made up of representatives from 
Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties, the Minnesota 
Board of Soil and Water Resources, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota 
Extension Service, and other state and federal agencies.  The videos were 
produced by Parthe Productions, Duluth.