Hiawatha groundwater and stormwater pumping update

The City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) are continuing work to investigate groundwater pumping and alternatives for Lake Hiawatha. The ongoing effort used data gained from monitoring devices installed more than a year ago to further understand the volume of water being pumped and other characteristics that might impact upon solutions that change pumping regimes. This work also more closely assessed potential impacts to nearby homes, as well as some that are more remote from the golf course but could be impacted by changes. MPRB and City Staff received a formal report on work completed to date during the week of Feb. 27 and will share that information publicly at a meeting on March 30, 2017.

 As part of the update to the public, City and MPRB staff will share the process to be used in the investigations, where pumping alternatives will be considered. This stage of the work will include several opportunities for interactions with the public and golf course stakeholders. Meeting dates and times will be announced at the meeting on March 30. Importantly, the work will lead to the definition of a preferred alternative to be pursued for pumping and the framing of a concept for the golf course property that is related to the pumping solution. This phase will clearly articulate the implications of the preferred alternative for golf, nearby private properties, and associated stormwater infrastructure, as well as the include an outline of necessary regulatory processes, costs of implementation, and a timeline for advancing the preferred alternative through design and construction. The preferred alternative will result from input gained during public meetings and ongoing technical investigations, with the preferred alternative anticipated to be shared publicly and considered by the MPRB Board of Commissioners and the City Council during July 2017.

 In early February 2017 the City and MPRB interviewed consultant teams to support the work through July and will be recommending the award of a consulting services agreement to Barr Engineering Company. Barr has assisted the City and MPRB through the first phases of the investigation and has worked with the City in a parallel effort to evaluate flood mitigation scenarios for adjoining neighborhoods. The firm’s understanding of the conditions and its past work in the watershed is an important factor in allowing the work to advance to a conclusion by July.

 Finally, City engineers in the Surface Waters and Sewer Department are serving as sponsors for four University of Minnesota engineering students as part of their Capstone Senior Design Project. The focus of the students’ work is an evaluation of methods to mitigate trash that makes its way to the storm infrastructure upstream of Lake Hiawatha by evaluating small-scale infrastructure upstream of the lake’s north stormwater outfall. The students will produce a report summarizing their evaluation along with costs and benefits related to potential options. City and MPRB staff are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the students while gaining a work product with the potential to inform short- and long-term investments in the area.

Public Meeting

Date: March. 30, 2017
Time: 6:30-8 pm
Location: Lake Nokomis Community Center Gymnasium
Address: 2401 E. Minnehaha Parkway
Topic: Update on Phase Two of groundwater and stormwater pumping investigation