Curtiss Pond Improvement Project

Final Movie from Capitol Region Watershed Distric on Vimeo.

You can remotely start your car, turn on your lights and get your coffee started in the morning. But did you know that innovative technology can automatically check the weather and activate water management structures that protect your neighborhood from flooding?

CRWD and the City of Falcon Heights installed a forecast-based control system – called OptiRTC (Real Time Controller) – in a small, landlocked stormwater pond at Curtiss Field Park in Falcon Heights. The system monitors National Weather Service data through an internet connection. When the system detects a large amount of rain approaching, it opens a valve that drains the pond of previously collected water, lowering it as much as two feet which creates space to store more stormwater. At any time, staff can remotely monitor the system and modify what’s happening.

The OptiRTC controller works with an underground stormwater infiltration system (see photo below) that was designed and installed by CRWD and City of Falcon Heights.

For years, Curtiss Field Pond had been prone to flooding that limited park use, damaged infrastructure and created public safety concerns. In 2011, the City asked CRWD for help with a feasibility study to determine how to limit flooding in the park. After three years of study, planning and design, a 390-foot network of 10-foot diameter perforated pipe was installed underneath Curtiss Field. The pipes are fed by overflow from the pond, and stormwater is delivered there to percolate into the ground. The system will reduce flooding in the park and reduce the risk of damage to surrounding properties.

Curtiss Pond construction