SCNA photo of dredging at the Shingle Creek regional ponds by Jeffrey Strand
The Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association received an email this morning Friday, January 20th, 2017 from Lois Eberhart, the Water Resources Regulatory Administrator, City of Minneapolis Public Works, regarding the dredging of the regional ponds in the Shingle Creek neighborhood. In an effort to attempt to get more information out about this project to the residents and our partners, we asked a few questions regarding this important project. These were the responses. The answers are in bold.
- Were the ponds a part of the run off from the former Brookdale mall and were established in the early 1990’s. Correct? Yes, this is correct.
- Is this the first time that the ponds will be dredged? Yes
- Why is dredging necessary at this time? or How much material needs to be removed? Dredging of stormwater ponds is done as needed, on average probably every 15-20 years. The Shingle Creek Wetland Ponds (north and south) need to be dredged for three reasons: To remove sediment from stormwater runoff that has accumulated over the years, to remove some of the debris that was underground when the ponds were created, but that has worked up through the soil into the pond, and to remove the overabundance of cattails that grow in the stormwater ponds but decrease storage capacity.
- The estimated amount of material to be removed (from both ponds, total) is 7,825 cubic yards.
- How will the sediment be removed(what machines are required? Primarily backhoe to dredge the material, which will then be placed in dump trucks for hauling.
- and long will the project take? Approximately one month.
- Three days notice of this project is a really short timeline for public education and notification, where could SCNA have learned about this project earlier for at least a 30-45 day notice of this project? We will make earlier notification to the relevant neighborhood organization a practice for future stormwater pond dredging projects. As background, we had discussed the dredging with Shingle Creek neighborhood a resident a couple of times (but not the specific start date), and we had discussed it with a Victory neighborhood resident, who was recently appointed as the City’s Commissioner to the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission, however we didn’t also contact the neighborhood association ahead of time.
- Where will the material that’s dredged out of the ponds be taken to and disposed of? Material to be dredged from a stormwater pond is always tested for contaminants, using Minnesota Pollution Control Agency protocol. In some cases, the results are used to determine that the material needs to be disposed of at a landfill. The testing results for the Shingle Creek Ponds, however, indicated no elevated contaminant levels, so the material can be re-used in many ways, and is not required to go to a landfill. For the Shingle Creek ponds, the contractor will be hauling the material to the contractor’s premises in Washington County.
- Have residents around the ponds been notified of this activity also? No, they have not.
- Is this project a part of the Shingle Creek Watershed Management plan? No. Maintenance of the ponds is a City of Minneapolis responsibility, not a watershed management organization responsibility.
- How will this effect Shingle Creek itself? The ponds are still successful in keeping sediment from reaching Shingle Creek – meaning that although they need to be dredged, they are still functioning properly — and so I wouldn’t expect any particular effect on the creek itself.
- Is there a website page that folks can go to learn more? No, the City does not have a web site set up for the project.
If there are further questions, please feel free to contact Lois Eberhart l Water Resources Regulatory Administrator l City of Minneapolis Public Works – Surface Water & Sewers Division l Room 300 City of Lakes Building, 309 South Second Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55401 l 612-673-3260 l firstname.lastname@example.org