First-of-its-kind stormwater system installed in Prospect Park Neighborhood of Minneapolis

Updated: July 23, 2019 08:21 PM

A first-of-its-kind project in Minneapolis is making a big difference each time it rains.

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization introduced a stormwater district in the Prospect Park neighborhood.


For most, it just looks like a nice, peaceful garden. But underneath, it's sophisticated.

"You don't know that it's actually a stormwater management pond," said Stephanie Johnson, project and outreach director for the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. 

Below the garden area is a tank that can store more than 200,000 gallons of stormwater. But covered up with rocks and green features, the one-of-a-kind stormwater system is disguised as a nice green space for people to enjoy.

"It aesthetically just looks nice, especially in these urban landscapes, to get some greenery out there," Johnson said. 

Once the water collects into the area, it's filtered by native plants and soils. When issues of flash flooding occur, this design can really help alleviate some of the stress on the city's pipes as well. 

The stored water can also be used for water features, irrigation or future industry. 

"The property owners can use that water moving foward," Johnson said. "There's a community garden here that's going to tap into that water that's been filtered and cleaned up, and they'll use that for watering their vegetables and other things they have going on there."

Diverting stormwater runoff is important because so much of it drains directly into the Mississippi River currently, which leads to the river being polluted.  A storm drain outfall is the point where the storm sewer system discharges into a body of water.  Below are the number of outfalls in both Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

This work goes well beyond the Prospect Park neighborhood. Johnson says they're already working on bringing this same concept to other parts of the metro. 

"Now we're planning on looking for opportunities to do additional projects as more of these redevelopment projects come online," Johnson said. 

One part of Minneapolis where they're trying to implement something similar is for the Upper Harbor Terminal Project. 

Connect with KSTP

Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.


Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


Nation gathers to honor Ginsburg, Republicans push to fill seat

Motorcyclist in critical condition after colliding with deer near Bethel

MSHSL to hold special meeting Monday to reconsider fall activities

Family offers $10K reward to help solve fatal hit-and-run case involving Maplewood man

Judge agrees to delay US government restrictions on WeChat