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A new community initiative to clean up stormwater in southern Blaine is now in the final stages of completion. The Aurelia Park Pond project is a partnership between the City of Blaine and Coon Creek Watershed District (CCWD) to help reduce water pollution into, and prevent flooding of, Springbrook Creek.
Springbrook Creek drains areas of Blaine, Spring Lake Park, Coon Rapids, and Fridley before joining the Mississippi River. This pond is improving water quality coming from the adjacent 50-acre neighborhood that was built before stormwater became a concern. The pond acts as a filter by allowing pollutants to settle out and provides water storage during high precipitation events.
Stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the US. It can cause erosion and it also contains sediment, nutrients, bacteria, chlorides from winter salt, and anything else picked up by water running off lawns, driveways, sidewalks, streets, or other hard surfaces. Stormwater does not get cleaned (treated) at a facility. Instead, other cost-effective methods are used. Examples are ponds, swales, or newer technologies like sumps with baffles, or engineered in-ground sand filters that can remove phosphorus, a nutrient that can cause algal blooms.
Stormwater also adds surges of runoff entering creeks, ponds, wetlands, etc. Any type of obstruction can cause a backup. For example, a storm drain clogged from leaves or snow & ice can cause local street flooding. This project is designed to help Springbrook Creek meet Clean Water Act standards by using a treatment train of three practices: a catch basin sump with a baffle, the pond itself, and a sand filter bench that rings the pond bottom.
Funding for this project came from the City of Blaine stormwater utility fund, the CCWD, and a Clean Water Fund Watershed-Based Implementation Fund grant. The grant was a result of local consensus of several cities including Blaine, Coon Rapids, Fridley, and Spring Lake Park. For more information, visit BlaineMN.gov/Stormwater.