Clear Lake Water Quality Project Receives ACEC Honor Award

Grade of the division channel and blue sky with clouds

The City of Forest Lake’s Clear Lake Water Quality Project was selected by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota for an Honor Award at the 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet on January 29.

The City of Forest Lake, MN, Bolton & Menk, Inc., and the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) recently partnered on an innovative project designed to enhance and preserve the water quality of Clear Lake, located adjacent to the building site of the new Forest Lake City Center. Mid-summer algae blooms are common, and occasionally severe enough to impact recreation. Through a Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Legacy grant, Bolton & Menk designed a Best Management Practices (BMP) project that will treat approximately 520 acres of sediment and phosphorus-laden water that ultimately discharges to Clear Lake.

With the RCWD and the City, a new BMP plan was developed to incorporate a multifaceted treatment train concept that diverts storm water runoff from the main drainage channel through an innovative, flow-through rock gabion weir structure including filter socks filled with iron enhanced sand at the core. As floodwaters rise, a bioretention floodplain filters additional sediment before entering another perched iron enhanced sand filter. Additional opportunities to serve otherwise untreated hard surfaces were also accommodated using tree trench systems and bioretention swales.

The total grant awarded was $377,000. The required local match was $95,000 split between the City of Forest Lake and RCWD. Total construction costs were approximately $350,000. Educational signage describing the project are situated around the site. Additional materials will be available inside City Hall for residents to explore and take home providing more information about the project and the City’s commitment to protecting water resources. Project tours and public interactions have also been conducted allowing City staff to speak directly with different stakeholder groups.

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