Public Works

Surface Water and Sewers Division
309 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401

To contact, call 311.

Nokomis Groundwater and Surface Water Issues

Project Update:

In our effort to better understand the groundwater issues in the Nokomis area, two new observation wells are currently being installed at Solomon Park and Lake Nokomis Park. Installation is planned to be complete by the end of July 2018, weather permitting.The wells are being installed at the base of the water table near existing shallow water table wells. Together, the new basal water table wells and existing shallow water table wells will provide information about the vertical flow of groundwater in the Nokomis area. The data we will gather from these observation wells is critical to increasing our understanding about the surface aquifer system in the Nokomis area and could help explain why we are seeing so much water in the area. 

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:

Nokomis Groundwater Area Map

What are we Working to Understand:

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 Resource (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), Minneapolis 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

Nokomis Area Groundwater FAQ Fact Sheet

Minneapolis Groundwater Technical Review - March 30, 2018

Preliminary Findings of Nokomis Area Groundwater Based on Metro Model 3 - Ray Wuolo

Lake Nokomis Outlet Operating Plan

MCWD Lake Nokomis Groundwater & Surface Water Issues report

Hydrogeologic data for Nokomis and Hiawatha Lakes

Minnesota Precipitation Trends

Nokomis Groundwater - Surface Water Coordination meeting - November 30, 2017

MPRB Surface and Groundwater Information presentation

Technical Team Meeting Minutes

Nokomis Area Groundwater Technical Team meeting #1 minutes - January 22, 2018

Nokomis Area Groundwater Technical Team meeting #2 minutes - March 30, 2018

Partner Agencies

*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 Jul 25, 2018



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