Did sewer project affect lake level?

Did sewer project affect lake level?

There are 67 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Feb 20, 2011, titled Did sewer project affect lake level?. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

A long pier is left high and dry, canoes too, short of the water on the west end of White Bear Lake, a part of the lake particularily suffering from the lake's lowering water level--on Ednesday morning April 8, 2009.

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Since: Dec 10

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Feb 21, 2011
freshwater everywhere is running out. Will be a sad day when all out lakes are dried up and we fight for what we take for granted, clean water.
NUTSTOU

Tampa, FL

#2 Feb 21, 2011
Years ago Lake Phalen was drying up. I believe they sealed the leaks by dumping Bentonite into the lake , Would something like that work here?
Chachi

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Feb 21, 2011
Hmm.... Met Council screwing something up? Never would have guessed. Time for this crap to stop. MET COUNCIL MUST BE STOPPED!
Tired of it all

South Saint Paul, MN

#4 Feb 21, 2011
The state and cities are craving new cash flows. Start selling new lake shore lots. The folks that had them will now have new neighbors between them and the lake to enjoy.

The state and cities can make millions on the sales of lots and think of the new stream of property taxes that will come in.
Jeez

United States

#5 Feb 21, 2011
Chachi wrote:
Hmm.... Met Council screwing something up? Never would have guessed. Time for this crap to stop. MET COUNCIL MUST BE STOPPED!
Yeah, they should back off and let all the homeowners stick with their leaky septic systems. We don't need good public health!
JLM

Minneapolis, MN

#6 Feb 21, 2011
If only there was a way to take water from Devils Lake and put it in White Bear Lake...
liam

Saint Paul, MN

#8 Feb 21, 2011
Tired of it all wrote:
The state and cities are craving new cash flows. Start selling new lake shore lots. The folks that had them will now have new neighbors between them and the lake to enjoy.
The state and cities can make millions on the sales of lots and think of the new stream of property taxes that will come in.
Dont give the dems any ideas!
dum dums

Cook, MN

#9 Feb 21, 2011
i know i know the answer...WHO CARES>>>>
dum dums

Cook, MN

#10 Feb 21, 2011
OH YES ITS TRUE ITS TRUE wrote:
freshwater everywhere is running out. Will be a sad day when all out lakes are dried up and we fight for what we take for granted, clean water.
are you a waterologist or did you hear that on a television commercial where someone wanted you do give them the equivalent to the cost of a cup of coffee a day to help some poor innocent kid in a 3rd world country get some clean water?
NUTSTOU

Tampa, FL

#11 Feb 21, 2011
There is one solution available, but some might say it stinks. A company that produces water filtration solutions for the U.S Military, could provide the solution. This company has developed a nanotechnology system that filters sewage water and turns it into safe drinking water. They could start filtering sewage water and pipe the clean product back into White Bear Lake. They produce everything from "Safe drinking straws", to large battalion filtering systems. The President of the company actually dipped a straw in sewage water and sucked the fluid through a straw filter to drink it, for the news cameras. Once your past the thought, it isn't a bad idea!
Alan

Shakopee, MN

#12 Feb 21, 2011
Looking over the water level study, the construction of the diversion starting in '06 coincides with the the really steep drop in the lake water level starting at the beginning of '06. The Met council quote stated that 300 million gallons would only equate to a 4.5 inch drop in the water level of White Bear Lake, but that means that if over 1 billion gallons was pumped, the water level of the lake would be impacted by well over a foot.

Having a master's in Civil Engineering emphasizing water resources, I can say that lake water levels are usually directly tied to the ground water aquifer water levels. It's obviously difficult to know exactly what's happening underground, but if you look at the geology, it's easy to speculate. MN has a lot of sandstone and limestone. Water can move through these materials quite readily. Longer term the question isn't really how much was pumped during the construction because over time, the lake would recover. On the other hand, if they significantly disrupted the aquifer by either diverting the underground flow of groundwater or allowing the upper aquifer to drain to a deeper aquifer, there could be long term problems. It would seem that if they were drilling the pipe into place, there would be less risk that it would cause issues. I'd look to map out the ground water flows in the local area and the elevation of the lake relative to the 30' depth of the sewer pipe and to layers of geologic formations in the area. Finally, I'd want to see a really good study of the sewer line to make sure that it is not taking in any inflow. If the pipe is cracked or if they couldn't get a good seal on any or many of the joints (that they were struggling with because of the large volume of groundwater inflow), the sewer pipe could be acting as a giant unplugged drain for the lake. Since the start of the really steep decline in the lake water levels coincided with the construction of this rather large sewer line, I'd be suspicious of it too.

Since: Sep 08

Waynesboro, TN

#13 Feb 21, 2011
It's already been blamed on Gorebull warming,don't change the narrative now or we'll all look like fools.
earnedit

Big Lake, MN

#14 Feb 21, 2011
Having just spent two hours clearing snow, I'm thinking that nature is taking care of the low water issue right now. Wet fall, lots of snow this winter. A look at historical levels on WBL show there is a cycle of water level fluctuations. Hard to blame manmade activity when there is a pattern. Sometimes its just hard to accept that you can't always control a natural phenomonen. Just 30 miles to the north of WBL, the Chisago chain dropped over 7 feet starting in 2003, through the summer of 2010. Amazingly enough, the chisago chain is just like WBL, there is a very small watershed relative to the area of water. Small watershed means there isn't as much runoff feeding the lake level and with no major tributaries to provide inflow, lake levels are subject to teh vagaries of weather. Lets hope we are now going on the upswing precipitation-wise
Chachi

Saint Paul, MN

#15 Feb 21, 2011
Oh its always good to give just one government program the power to dictate how communities are developed. The MET COUNCIL IS A CROCK OF CHIT!
Jeez wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, they should back off and let all the homeowners stick with their leaky septic systems. We don't need good public health!
Alan

Shakopee, MN

#16 Feb 21, 2011
earnedit wrote:
Having just spent two hours clearing snow, I'm thinking that nature is taking care of the low water issue right now. Wet fall, lots of snow this winter. A look at historical levels on WBL show there is a cycle of water level fluctuations. Hard to blame man made activity when there is a pattern....
You very well could be right. I don't recall the last few years being dry, but White Bear Lake may have had less precip. in the local area. In a small watershed, water levels will certainly bounce more than in other areas. It should be pretty easy to determine if the local area around White Bear has been experiencing drought conditions for the past 5 years or so. If not, something else changed and more than likely it was something someone did. Maybe it wasn't the sewer line. Maybe it was a well sunk somewhere, but that's unlikely as large wells are usually sunk pretty deep and wouldn't be likely to impact surface aquifers significantly. Maybe there were other drainage 'improvements' in the area. The SWCD could have improved a ditch or a development or new highway could have diverted drainage out of the watershed or past White Bear Lake.
Goes Outside

Saint Paul, MN

#17 Feb 21, 2011
It's George Bush' fault..............
billy boy

Albany, OR

#18 Feb 21, 2011
What does the Met Council do other than spend our money on pet projects. Somali Trolley between St Paul and Murderapolis, Low income housing in Lake Elmo. Time for this agency to go bye bye.
poppy

River Falls, WI

#20 Feb 21, 2011
just think of the wealthy landowners can have huge beach parties now.
wb boating

Managua, Nicaragua

#22 Feb 21, 2011
The elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about. The met council provides so much funding the cities and counties are afraid of repriasals I am not certain if the Met council has blame. I do know a billion gallons is a lot of waterI do not buy into the drought theary when we had to sandbag in Stillwater and St.Paul . I am optimistic the USGS is not intimidated by any government body and the motivation is to obtain uncensored data to provide understanding and perhaps provide clue both a short term and longterm solution for not only wbl both other lakes in the region. Got to get back to shoveling into the lake...kidding dnr
Nick

Minneapolis, MN

#23 Feb 21, 2011
NUTSTOU wrote:
Years ago Lake Phalen was drying up. I believe they sealed the leaks by dumping Bentonite into the lake , Would something like that work here?
They wasted millions trying to fix Phalen and they finally discovered a sewer without a cover. They covered up the sewer and voila'.
The frigging genius city engineers saved the lake.
No doubt they caused White Bear's problems.

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