Rainwater from nearly 250 acres of land in Roseville drains through Upper Villa Park and eventually flows into Lake McCarrons. McCarrons is one of the highest quality lakes in the Metro area and is used by many residents for recreation. A recent downward trend in lake health led the District to study the area further and identify the following project to protect this valuable community resource.
Region Watershed District worked in partnership with the City of Roseville to build a system that collects, filters and reuses rainwater for irrigation of the softball field at Upper Villa Park behind the B-Dale Club. The system consists of two underground features including a cistern to collect rainwater for use at the ballfield and a series of 10-foot pipes, with thousands of holes in them, that collect water and allow it to soak back into the ground. As water moves through the soil – it is cleaned – removing pollutants that would have otherwise traveled through neighborhood storm drains into the Villa Park wetlands, and to Lake McCarrons.
The system is expected to prevent 50 pounds of phosphorous from flowing into Lake McCarrons each year. Phosphorous is a nutrient that supports algal growth. Too much phosphorous leads to algae blooms, often giving lakes a green soupy appearance during summer months. The system will also save up to 1.3 million gallons of drinking water by reusing rainwater for irrigation. This is an equally important benefit as discussions continue about how best to manage groundwater, the primary source of drinking water for most Minnesotans.
An emerging technology called Optimized Real Time Controls (OptiRTC) was installed to maximize the project’s effectiveness. OptiRTC uses weather forecasting from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to prepare for storms by opening a valve in the cistern and allowing the water to flow into the perforated pipes. This automated process creates space to capture and clean more rainwater.
This project was funded by a $275,000 Clean Water Partnership grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; $360,000 Clean Water Fund grant from the Board of Water and Soil Resources; CRWD and the City of Roseville.