BCWD covers permits, buffers, BMP projects at recent meeting

The Brown’s Creek Watershed District (BCWD) approved Washington County’s permit to build a culvert on Stonebridge Trail with conditions at a watershed board meeting earlier this week.

The permit was requested to route runoff on the east side of Stonebridge Trail to a landlocked depression to prevent water from flowing over the roads.

“Our job is to make sure that adding the culvert isn’t going to flood anybody and make sure that draining a feature won’t change and realign the ground in the case of a 2, 10 or 100-year-flood,” said BCWD Director Karen Kill. “We found that at this point in time that the east side will over top the roads.”

The 18-inch culvert is designed to take the water north for 100 feet to the depression. This land-locked depression will filter the water after it reaches the area.

The culvert will be installed on County Road 5 about 3,000 feet north of Minnesota 96. The county will submit their revised final plans to the BCWD.

“They still need to include a few more little pieces like seeding for the areas and ditch checks about three days before they build,” Kill said. “Then they submit their revised plans for the final stabilization and we’ll issue the permit.”

Kill said the county is planning on beginning this project in the next three or four weeks.

Also discussed at the meeting was the Brown’s Creek Buffer project and a possible best management practice project in the future.

Additional planting at The Brown’s Creek Buffer Project takes place on Sept. 17 in two areas of the Brown’s Creek Park property on McKusick Road and Neal Street. There are two goals with this part of the project: to create more stabilization of the side slopes and to create shading to keep the stream cool.

The watershed tax is covering planting materials but the BCWD has received some Land, Water and Legacy Act funds to help with labor costs.

“Some members of the Minnesota Corps of Labor will help and that will help us stretch our funds since each day that we work there will require a crew of five people.” Kill said.

The BWCD continues to work with Oak Glen Golf Course on this project.

Though no specific program was presented during the Best Management Practices (BMP) Project part of the meeting, a neighborhood near Neal Avenue has been identified as a good place to begin a possible BMP project pending a grant.

“We’re looking at the potential for retro-fitting the curb cut because right now the storm sewers are taking runoff directly from the road,” Kill said. “If we retrofit it the runoff would be caught in the rain gardens and the water would be allowed to infiltrate the watershed if the water quality is good enough, if not it would be filtered.”

Kill said the group is trying to get a clean water grant. The BCWD will know in mid-December if the grant they seek goes through. She added that even if the grant doesn’t go through, the BCWD might approach individual neighbors with the best locations to see if they’d be interested in doing a BMP project.

BMP projects are projects created by the BCWD on private property. Projects are designed with the homeowners to benefit water quality and the BCWD covers 15 percent of the cost of the project up to $2,500 for qualifying people. The trade-off is that the homeowner would be in charge of maintenance for at least 10 years. The BCWD does about 20 projects like this a year.