Coon Rapids project planned by watershed district

The Coon Creek Watershed District is planning to construct a storm water treatment pond this year to improve water quality in a portion of Coon Rapids.

The storm water pond will be located on vacant city of Coon Rapids property on Xeon Street, just north of Sand Creek.

The pond, which will have a 30-year lifespan, will provide storm water treatment for a drainage area that currently drains directly into Sand Creek.

The drainage area includes 105 parcels on 23 acres.

The pond will be set back 20 feet from the existing sidewalk on Xeon.

Existing vegetation would be removed as part of the construction, but new vegetation would be established once the pond is completed and trees, both evergreens and deciduous, would be planted around the pond.

According to the Jon Janke of the watershed district, Sand Creek, which flows into Coon Creek, is not meeting water quality standards and is adding pollution to Coon Creek and eventually the Mississippi River.

Much of the stormwater runoff, including meltwater from streets west of University Avenue and adjacent to Sand Creek, flows directly into Sand Creek from stormwater pipes, Janke said.

In addition, street runoff carries pollutants like ice melters (chlorides), sand or grit, grass clippings and leaves directly into Sand Creek, he said.

“During rain storms large amounts of water can suddenly flow into the creek which can then cause erosion and make the water cloudy (turbid),” Janke said.

According to Janke, ponds can be designed for different timings for holding water, although they don’t hold much water or temporarily hold a lot of water after storms.

Project goals are for the pond to remove about 49 percent of the phosphorous, 80 percent of sediment, removal of nitrogen, heavy metals, trash auto oil and provide flood control and infiltration, Janke said.

The estimated project cost of $150,000 will be covered by a state of Minnesota Clean Water Partnership Grant and the watershed district.

There will be no direct cost to adjacent property owners.

The watershed district hosted a neighborhood meeting for area residents March 8.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer and be completed in the fall.

There is no cost to the city of Coon Rapids in the project construction, but the city would maintain the pond.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]