Lake Nokomis Groundwater and Surface Water Issues
February 7, 2019
Bedrock Wells in Solomon Park Will Improve Understanding of Area Groundwater Movement
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is close to completing installation of the first of two deep bedrock wells in Solomon Park to provide ongoing information on groundwater levels and movement in the area.
The first bedrock well was drilled 400 feet down into the Jordan Sandstone aquifer in the northwest corner of the park. Water generated from the drilling process was pumped to a settling tank to remove sediments, then directed into the sanitary sewer system to avoid adding groundwater to local surface waters. A second bedrock well will soon be drilled nearby to a depth of about 250 feet into the Prairie du Chien aquifer. Installation of the wells was delayed by weather conditions and is now expected to be complete by the end of February.
In addition to the two bedrock observation wells, four other wells were installed during the past 18 months:
- Two shallow water table wells installed in fall 2017, one in Solomon Park and one in Nokomis Park;
- A deeper water table well at Nokomis Park, installed last fall;
- A buried artesian well (a deeper well separated and below the water table aquifer) at Solomon Park, also installed last fall.
- The water level data provided by this network of six observation wells will help the multi-agency team that’s been working on the Nokomis area water concerns better understand the area’s groundwater system and learn how different aquifers may be interacting with each other and with surface waters.
View the October 9, 2018 Newsletter here.
As part of efforts to keep area residents informed and engaged, the Nokomis Area Groundwater and Surface Water Evaluation team held an open house on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Interagency staff were on hand to provide information and answer questions on a variety of topics related to groundwater and surface water issues in the area. Information from this meeting will be posted on this site soon.
What is the Concern
Property owners near Lake Nokomis have noted higher levels of groundwater and standing water in previously dry areas, such as Solomon Park and Lake Nokomis Park. Additionally, the City of Minneapolis has received concerns over deteriorating private sewer laterals and groundwater impacting basements and foundations. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has observed high water levels in Lake Nokomis, which has impacted beaches and shorelines.
Area of Concern
What are we Working to Understand
Are surface water and groundwater levels near Lake Nokomis, particularly south and west of the lake, increasing?
To what extent do groundwater levels interact with surface water levels in this area?
What are the potential impacts to public and private infrastructure?
If groundwater and/or surface water levels are rising, why and what can be done?
Who is Working to Understand the Concerns?
Groundwater and surface water management within Minneapolis falls under many different jurisdictions, therefore a group of agencies are working in partnership to evaluate and understand the groundwater impacts. Agencies participating in the evaluation include MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR), City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), and Hennepin County. These agencies are also coordinating with MN Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Metropolitan Airports Commission.
How are these Agencies Working Together?
Staff from the DNR, City of Minneapolis, MPRB, and MCWD are working together in a technical team to try and understand the questions noted above, while coordinating with other technical partners (noted above) as needed.
The work of the technical team has included installing new shallow groundwater wells, reviewing groundwater elevation data from existing monitoring wells, understanding soil characteristics and geology underlying the area, summarizing precipitation data, modeling groundwater recharge rates, looking at the Lake Nokomis water levels, and reviewing the operation of the Nokomis weir.
For additional questions or concerns, please email [email protected].
Presentation & Reports
Following a meeting with state, regional and local partners on November 30, 2017 the Surface Water and Sewers Division of Minneapolis Public Works committed to leading an technical team to investigate what is known about high groundwater challenges south and west of Lake Nokomis. The technical team had an initial meeting on January 22, 2017 to discuss sources of data, gaps in understanding, and how to bring resources together to conduct further technical work. Going forward, the team will determine what additional investigation may be needed to address the high groundwater and surface water issues in this area.
Nokomis Area Groundwater & Surface Water Evaluation, Leadership Team Meeting Notes - May 1, 2018
Minneapolis Groundwater Technical Review - March 30, 2018
Preliminary Findings of Nokomis Area Groundwater Based on Metro Model 3 - Ray Wuolo
Hydrogeologic data for Nokomis and Hiawatha Lakes
Nokomis Groundwater - Surface Water Coordination meeting - November 30, 2017
Technical Team Meeting Minutes
*City of Minneapolis
*Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB)
*Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR)
*Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD)
*Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES)
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
City of Richfield
Minneapolis Saint Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission (MSP MAC)
* Denotes Technical Team Member
Last updated Apr 17, 2019