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stormwater management system for Minnesota district

stormwater management system for Minnesota district
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

shared stormwater facility promotes community sustainability

Towerside District (also known as Prospect North) is a rapidly developing area adjacent to the University of Minnesota and on a light-rail transit line that connects Minneapolis and Saint Paul. In 2013, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization hired Barr to work with it and four private developers to design and construct a district facility to manage stormwater runoff from a four-block area.

Barr first assessed the feasibility of capturing, treating, storing, and reusing stormwater within the district. We subsequently helped develop a 26-acre district stormwater system that will treat the runoff from private developments, meeting or exceeding Minneapolis stormwater requirements.

Barr’s design includes stormwater conveyance systems from the private developments to the district stormwater system, large biofiltration basins (rain gardens) to filter out pollutants, an underground concrete tank to store the treated stormwater, and a pumping system that enables the treated water to be reused for irrigation by the private developers and a future industrial user.

The first phase of the system will treat runoff from four properties totaling 8 acres, all with known soil contamination. Before construction began, Barr determined the best approach for site remediation. We also developed a schematic design and estimated costs for the district treatment system, gained landowner support, and helped develop landowner agreements for a cost-recovery model to fund the project.

The first of its kind in the Twin Cities, this system will remove stormwater pollutants, help create a planned green space, and provide an opportunity to reuse captured stormwater for irrigation and industrial purposes. Taking a communal approach to managing stormwater will reduce costs while incorporating more effective and environmentally friendly stormwater treatment methods.

The Towerside District stormwater system will begin operating in late 2016, treating an estimated annual average of 4.5 million gallons of stormwater for reuse.