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Parkview Center School

Improving Lake Quality in Roseville

In 2012, Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) began work with the City of Roseville to identify projects to improve the health of Lake McCarrons, one of the highest-quality recreational lakes in the Twin Cities Metro Area. In 2016 CRWD was awarded a $1.76 million grant through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ Targeted Watershed Program (TWP) funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment for work in the Como and McCarrons sub-watersheds. One of the potential projects identified was a water quality improvement project at Parkview Center School located at the intersection of County Road B and Dale Street in Roseville. Partnering with the Roseville School District, Ramsey County, and the City of Roseville, CRWD plans to construct the project beginning in the fall of 2019.

The Challenge

Rainwater from nearly 250 acres of land in Roseville drains through Upper Villa Park and eventually flows into Lake McCarrons. A recent downward trend in lake health led the District to study the area further and identify remedies to protect this valuable community resource. A system for capturing the pollutants transported in urban stormwater – such as phosphorus, sediment, soil, heavy metals and petroleum products – before draining into wetlands and lakes was essential for continued environmental health and balance.

“This is a unique and exciting project because it not only provides tremendous benefit to Lake McCarrons by treating over 12.5 million gallons of polluted runoff each year, but the partnerships between CRWD and the School District allowed us to realize some significant cost savings. CRWD will also be monitoring the performance of the project to help us learn more about the new filtration technology being applied here.” - Nate Zwonitzer, Water Resource Project Manager

The Solution

CRWD installed a system at Parkview that collects and filters polluted rainwater from the County Road B storm sewer. The system consists of 10-foot diameter underground pipes that capture runoff from the 46 acres upstream of the project site. The polluted water is then treated by an underground filtration system.  Water is cleaned as it moves through the filters, removing pollutants before it returns to the storm sewer and eventually Villa Park wetlands and Lake McCarrons.

In 2018 the first phase of the project was completed by adding a significant amount of soil around the popular sledding hill. Letting the soil sit for a year provides the compaction necessary to support the future underground pipes, filter vault, and the tremendous weight of the stored runoff. Roseville Area Schools was already in the process of making improvements to the nearby high school. Excess soil from that project was brought to Parkview which provided significant cost savings for both the School District and CRWD.

The underground pipes and filtration system were installed in the fall and early winter of 2019. The soil added in 2018 was removed, then used again to bury the project and return the slope to its original condition (shifted slightly east). Connecting the project to the County Road B storm sewer took place in the spring of 2020. In December 2020 sledding resumed on the popular sledding hill, now above a clean water feature.


The system captures and cleans 12.5 million gallons of polluted runoff each year before it reaches Lake McCarrons. This prevents more than 45 pounds of phosphorus from flowing into Lake McCarrons. Phosphorus is a nutrient and an essential element for plant and animal growth, but too much of it leads to algae blooms, often giving lakes a green soupy appearance during summer months. Harmful algae blooms can also kill wildlife and upset the ecosystem. The Parkview project significantly reduces the amount of phosphorus and other pollutants entering Lake McCarrons and surrounding wetlands.

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