Projects aim to mitigate storm water runoff

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 11/3/99.

berm construction Control of storm water runoff is the purpose of four projects being completed currently in Paynesville Township.

Three of the projects will be done near the northwest side of the lake, along Crest Ridge Road. The other is near Koronis Drive, closer to the city limits.

Easements were secured with the various landowners before the projects began.

Costs for the projects are being split by Paynesville Township, the Koronis Lake Association, and the Rice-Koronis Clean Water Partnership, a fund administered by the North Fork of the Crow River Watershed District (NFCRWD).

The projects along Crest Ridge Road are related. Runoff from the Assembly Grounds hill and from the road ditch to the west will settle temporarily behind a berm that is being constructed on land owned by the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds on the north side of Crest Ridge Road(pictured). After settling, the water will flow to the lake via a pipe buried on John Larson's property.

Flooding has been a problem for some homeowners in the area after heavy rains. The pipe has been installed already along the fenceline on Larson's property. Construction of this part of the project is done. "Everything looks good now," said Larson. "The main thing is that it works."

South of Crest Ridge Road, a new pipe will be installed along the road into King Bee Camp. A slough near Crest Ridge Road will be used to hold water, and this water will flow to another settling pond at lake level. On the way, it will be connected to other water drains.

The pond discharges into a slough to the west of the camp. Sediment in the water will have a chance to settle among the cattails before the water enters Lake Koronis.

Township supervisor Warren Nehring said the goal of the projects was to allow runoff water to settle before reaching the lake. Additionally, Paynesville Township has purchased property from Phyllis Nielsen along the north side of Crest Ridge Road, further to the east, for another storm water control project.

The fourth project presently under way involves an existing tile near the Paynesville Civic Arena. Nehring said the tile, installed years ago, drains water from the arena parking lot, as well as the businesses facing Highway 55 near there, and the houses on Koronis Drive.

At present, the tile discharges behind the houses on Koronis Drive. "We inherited some of these ills from the past," explained Nehring. "In 20 years, (the runoff water has) created a huge gully."

The existing tile will be extended to the bottom of the hill and rock rip-rap will be placed in its discharge area. This runoff water will flow into a slough on Barry Flanders' property and eventually into the lake.

The gully that has eroded will be reshaped.

Nehring said the projects should be completed within the next two weeks.

In addition to solving existing flooding problems, township supervisor Don Pietsch said the projects were being done with an eye to the future. "Those things just have to be taken care of," he explained. "If you don't, you've got big problems down the road."

With second tier development around Lake Koronis looming, Pietsch said it will be important to get runoff water to the lake without problems. "I think these projects are the best examples... that (the township is) looking out for the future," he added.

The Koronis Lake Association was a willing participant in the projects because their goal is to improve the water quality in the lake, according to its president Peter Jacobson, who also publishes The Paynesville Press. All of the projects, he felt, would help Koronis by controlling surface runoff.

The Rice-Koronis Clean Water Partnership has been providing financial support for water quality projects since 1997, according to coordinator Pat Corrigan. The partnership operates on federal and state grant money, under the administration of the NFCRWD.

After a diagnostic study, for the past three years, the partnership has been using grant money and low interest loans to fund water quality projects. These projects have included over 250 septic system upgrades on the two lakes, five feedlot runoff projects, and nine gully control projects, as well as wetland and stream bank restorations.

These four projects should reduce sediment and nutrient loading into Lake Koronis, according to Corrigan.

The partnership, he added, is expecting another set of grant and loans money soon and is looking for more projects. They offer free technical assistance on projects, and do septic system evaluations without regulatory repercussions.

He urged willing landowners to call the Rice-Koronis Clean Water Partnership at 320-255-5502 or the NFCRWD toll free at 1-888-346-3013.

Return to Archives