City of Kimball Stormwater Improvements Finished for Kimball Days

July 31st, 2015: Annandale, Minn. – The Kimball Stormwater Improvement Project is finished, just in time for Kimball Days. A partnership between the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD), the City of Kimball, and the State of Minnesota (MN), the project's goal is to protect Willow Creek and downstream lakes and rivers from the detrimental effect of stormwater runoff.

Stormwater runoff from the city drains to Willow Creek, a designated trout stream (rare for an urbanized area) and important park space for the community. Before this project, high-temperature stormwater runoff, laden with nutrients, drained untreated into the creek. Trout don't like high-temperatures, and too many nutrients can cause algae blooms in downstream lakes. Too much algae can make swimming and fishing unpleasant. The City also struggles with small-scale flooding during storm events. To address these issues, the CRWD and the city started working together in 2010 to provide treatment of stormwater runoff, thanks to two grants from the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources through the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment.

In conjunction with the city's street improvement work, the city now has an improved underground stormwater conveyance system (complete with up-sized grit chambers), which moves stormwater runoff to three treatment areas (one in Willow Creek Park, two adjacent to Hendricks Sand & Gravel). The treatment areas are designed to filter pollutants out and allow the water to infiltrate into shallow groundwater. In addition, several smaller installations address stormwater runoff in other areas of the city.

The residents of the City of Kimball can be proud of their new infrastructure, knowing they are ahead of many small cities in terms of addressing their stormwater runoff pollution. In addition, individual residents can do their part by making simple changes, such as rerouting house gutter downspouts to grass instead of pavement, mowing yards in such a manner that clippings are not blown into the streets or curbs, and raking leaves so they don't wash downstream. For more simple ideas, visit: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/living-green/citizens.html.

For more information on this project, check out the Kimball Stormwater Phase II Project webpage. Also be sure to check out the new Willow Creek Park sign, located next to the playground and Lions' Pavilion in Willow Creek Park. This sign includes a new trail map delineating the 2.5 miles of trials available for public enjoyment. Stop by the park today, wet a line, and enjoy this unique natural resource!