UPDATES: April 2015

UPDATES is an email newsletter on stormwater management, assessment (including monitoring), and maintenance research at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory and the University of Minnesota.

Stormwater Minnesota: Next Steps?

April 2015 (volume 10 - issue 3)

Contributed by Bruce Wilson, Cliff Aichinger, John Chapman, and John Gulliver.

Minnesota has exceptionally competent stormwater practitioners who have banded together over the years to find ways to do things better, faster and with an eye on costs and benefits. These efforts were called nation-leading by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We retain much of the same energies and interests and we have nationally recognized stormwater professionals. So, what’s next?

We suggest forming a group the under the banner of a Minnesota Stormwater Resources Council with a purpose to conduct fundamental applied research, collect summary performance data/case studies and disseminate information to practitioners for better urban stormwater management. This will require consideration of the following:

  • Development of goals, objectives, operating principles and membership.
    • Organize a Board of Directors and subgroups as directed by organizing principles including research, communication/outreach strategies and budget.
  • Link with related groups, agencies, and professional entities.
  • Request start-up assistance from agencies and local governments to support organizational development, staffing and to begin databases and storage of case studies and reports.

There are existing, dedicated state resources that may be available plus several state and regional agencies with allied interests (source water protection, local water plans, restoration grants and biological integrity) which could assist in funding and staff support for this effort.

The following is a list of research priorities developed through a January 8, 2015 discussion of 29 Minnesota practitioners and researchers. Funding to support these efforts is greatly needed. Please contact the contributors if you want a copy of the full meeting notes.

Research Need Priority 1: Best Management Practice Effectiveness, with specific investigations into practices placed in series, sizing, and long term effectiveness.

Research Need Priority 2: Infiltration Research, with specific investigations into long term effects, groundwater impacts, underground practices, and how soils impact effectiveness.

Research Need Priority 3: Information sharing and coordination, so that results and data are accessible and research is coordinated to most effectively use funds available.

Research Need Priority 4: Best Management Practice Maintenance, to understand how to maintain practices, predict life cycle costs, and longevity.

Research Need Priority 5: Trees as stormwater management to better understand their positive and negative impacts to water quality and other community benefits.

Other Research Needs: Reuse of stormwater, Source reduction, Street sweeping, channel stabilization, education of decision makers, filtration media performance, and toxicity of pond sediments.

It is suggested that we use the Water Resources Conference as a venue to discuss and consider next steps. We will need leaders to emerge and direct this effort. Let your voice be heard!

List of meeting participants

Name (Organization)
Aichinger, Cliff (Formerly, Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District)
Alcott, Brent (Pelican River Watershed District)
Baker, Larry (University of Minnesota)
Bintner, Ross (City of Edina)
Chapman, John (University of Minnesota)
Doucette, Sharon (City of Woodbury)
Eberhart, Lois (City of Minneapolis)
Fairbairn, David (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
Findorff, Michael (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
Fossum, Bob (Capitol Region Watershed District)
Guetter, Tera (Pelican River Watershed District)
Gulliver, John (University of Minnesota)
Hafner, James (City of Blaine)
Isensee, Mikael (Middle St. Croix WMO; Washington Conservation District)
Janke, Ben (University of Minnesota)
Jensen, Karen (Metropolitan Council)
Loida, Barbara (Minnesota Department of Transportation)
Loomis, John (City of Woodbury)
Mulcahy, Joe (Metropolitan Council)
Neprash, Randy (Minnesota Cities Stormwater Coalition & Stantec Consulting)
Nieber, John (University of Minnesota)
Riggs, Jay (Washington County Conservation District)
Rosen, Lee (RESPEC)
Schilling, Joel (Schilling Consulting)
Trojan, Mike (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
Walechka, Jillian (Pelican River Watershed District)
Wilson, Bruce (RESPEC)
Wilson, Greg (Barr Engineering)

Citation: "Stormwater Research at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory." University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. Minneapolis, MN. http://stormwater.safl.umn.edu/