At 45 years old, a 1.7-mile segment of interceptor pipe in Waconia was due for replacement as part of Metropolitan Council’s strategic plan to maintain and repair our aging infrastructure. Interceptors are large sewer pipes in our regional wastewater collection system that can collect wastewater from a broad geographic area. This particular interceptor serves Waconia, Victoria, and Laketown Township.
As western Hennepin County experiences residential and commercial growth, interceptor improvements like this one provide for future system capacity. “Addressing aging infrastructure and planning for future growth allows Met Council to continue to provide reliable regional wastewater collection and treatment,” said John Hemming, project manager.
Partnerships limit disruption to regional park
The interceptor improvements are taking place in Lake Waconia Regional Park and along Highway 5 east and west of the park. The Council’s Environmental Services division is committed to being a good neighbor and limiting the impacts of construction projects on neighbors and park users as much as possible.
Local partners are key to making that successful. The City of Waconia has constructed local sanitary sewer and water pipes in the same area. Meanwhile, Carver County is constructing Phase 1 of the Lake Waconia Regional Park Improvements, an effort funded in part by Met Council. The city, county, and Environmental Services worked together to coordinate the design and construction schedule of the three separate improvement projects. This allows disruptions and closure to the park to be limited to a single time frame rather than three separate closings.
The ongoing communication between the projects also allows work in one project area to best serve the needs of the concurrent construction projects. For example, Environmental Services is establishing a park trail base above its sewer construction utility trench. The trail base will be built using lightweight geofoam blocks. “Using this technology allows us to avoid excess earth settlement that could damage the interceptor pipe,” said Hemming.
Project on schedule to be completed fall 2020
The Waconia interceptor project has experienced only minor delays — one cold-weather delay in the winter and one pause to put COVID-19 prevention plans in place to keep all onsite workers healthy and safe. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of everyone involved, the project is on track to be completed this fall. Area residents can expect to see earthwork establishing the trail base start to take place, as well as system testing and site restoration. The new interceptor will provide service before the end of the year.
Regional wastewater system protects public health and the environment
Our regional wastewater assets have a replacement value of approximately $7 billion. The MCES multi-year capital program provides capital investments to preserve and rehabilitate existing wastewater infrastructure, meet water and air quality regulations, and expand system capacity to meet regional growth needs.
The region’s wastewater collection and treatment system is a vast network of pipes and plants that convey and treat about 250 million gallons of wastewater each day from 110 metro-area communities.
This particular segment of regional sanitary sewer collects wastewater from Laketown Township, Waconia, and Victoria as it heads to the Blue Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant in Shakopee.
The system operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect and preserve water quality in the region. Find information on other 2020 regional sanitary sewer construction projects.
Learn more about our strategic efforts to maintain, repair, and replace aging infrastructure in our video This Old Pipe:
Watch “This Old Pipe” on YouTube