Friends of Bass Lake
The following reports are a glimpse into the 24 year period from 1992 to the present. They pose more questions than they answer; mainly, why weren't any stormwater ponds constructed during this period to improve water quality in Bass Lake as recommended?
Prior to this period, Bass lake was dredged in 1972. This would have been at the height of the environmental movement. During the following 20 years the George Haun trail was constructed around the lake but no stormwater ponds were constructed to improve water quality for the old watershed.
The following link takes you to the current Barr Engineering concept plan for a future Bass Lake. This vision is dependent upon a successful application of an EAW (environmental assessment worksheet) to state and local regulatory agencies. This report envisions a stormwater pond on the NE corner of the lake. But this pond is not meant to capture any of the water from the 3 major pipes flooding the lake.
It's difficult to understand how dredging approval will be granted without addressing the prior inaction by the city
addressing the three major concrete pipes emptying 25% of SLP storm water into Bass Lake. (see Facebook link
on the 'home page' tab for pictures of the pipes) (see 1992 letter suggesting action from DNR at bottom of page).
It's also difficult to understand why anyone believes that dredging--the only tool used by the city in 50 years to address water quality--will have any impact on what Bass lake has become--a eutrophic bog of invasive hybrid cattails.
The following text is lifted from the 2012 Beltline Station SW Corridor Action Plan. The sense of water quality urgency expressed in this document has subsided with the 2015 legal reclassification of Bass Lake as a 'type 4 wetland'. Under wetland reclassification there is no 'impaired listing' that prompts immediate action.
"Belt Line station is located within the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD). The majority of the drainage from the 10-minute walk zone is directed to Bass Lake Preserve which is impaired by nutrients. There is a 100-year floodplain that surrounds Bass Lake and extends out from the lake up to one-quarter mile. Discharging within one mile of impaired water may trigger additional MN Pollution Control Agency NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) requirements for additional stormwater management. For impaired waters where a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) has been approved these requirements may increase. Zoning requirements as a result of being within the 100-year floodplain may limit development/redevelopment potential. Any development/redevelopment that occurs as a result of constructing this station is anticipated to improve the existing drainage conditions as a result of enforcing the City and the Watershed requirements."
The following link takes you to the 2012 Beltline LRT Station Stormwater Analysis. This report identifies about a dozen sites for storm water retention. (see page 27 for map of ponds) Usually siting 'cost of land' the City has yet to purchase storm water retention sites for the Bass Lake watershed.
The following link takes you to the 1993 Bass Lake Drainage System Study. The report details 15 potential sites for storm water collection. The report was commissioned following the determination from the DNR that the use of Bass Lake as the central storm water collection basin for SLP was not the best use of the resource.
Photos below respond to the City's response for an EAW in 1992.