A public meeting about a proposed stormwater infiltration-and-treatment project at College Park will be held Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. at the St. Anthony Park Branch Library, 2245 Como Ave. The $1 million project would limit the amount of pollutants running into the Mississippi River from stormwater runoff and control the water that pours into the park after a heavy rainfall, according to Bruce Elder, sewer utility manager at St. Paul Public Works.
The project would involve the western area of the park, located at 2223 Carter Ave. in St. Anthony Park.
The plan is to excavate down 5 feet and place sand and gravel there, then place 4-foot diameter pipes on top of the gravel. The pipes will be connected to a storm sewer. The area then will be filled with quick-draining soil materials and turf will be re-established, Elder said.
A float mechanism connected to the pipes and storm sewer would control the amount of water that would come into the park, which would help maintain the turf at the bottom of the park.
The project’s primary goal is to treat the stormwater—which is filled with sand, silt and phosphorous—that comes off the streets, driveways and lawns and now goes untreated into the river, Elder said. That water would go through the sand-and-gravel filter and into the ground rather than the river, he said.
“We have created all these impervious surfaces—rooftops, driveways, roads—the water can’t go anywhere but run off,” Elder said. “We are providing another location where the water goes into the soil instead of the river.”
Elder predicted the infiltration system would result in a 75 percent reduction in pollutants going into the storm sewer from this area.
The project would involve the removal of a bench, a large stone monument and two bituminous pathways that lead into the park. The bench and stone would be reinstated at the end of the project and the pathways will be replaced, Elder said. The playground and tennis courts on the eastern end of the park will not be affected.
Two weeping willow trees will be removed for the project. “We have been very cognizant of the trees down there,” Elder said. “We had our forester identify all the trees that were deemed valuable. We’ve adjusted the footprint of the project to preserve the valuable trees.” Trees likely will be planted to replace the two willows, he said.
Costs for the project would come out of the public works sewer-utility budget.
If the city gets the nod from area residents to proceed with the project, Elder said, it would likely begin in late summer or early fall, “and then there will be the turf establishment in the spring. We will need to keep people off it for awhile.
“All in all, the park will be in better condition” [when the stormwater-treatment project is done,] Elder said. “There will be path improvements and better turf.”