Schaper Pond Diversion Project

In an ongoing effort to reduce pollutants and increase water quality, the City of Golden Valley and the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission installed a floating water baffle in Schaper Pond.

Although these devices have been used successfully in wastewater treatment plants for years, it will take several years of monitoring to determine the exact pollutant load prevented from flowing into Sweeney Lake and downstream.

The Problem

The Sweeney Branch of Bassett Creek flows through Schaper Pond on its way to Sweeney Lake. Because of the current’s speed and direction, the majority of the water flowed over the shallowest area of Schaper Pond instead of meandering around its deep portion. This means the pond was not effectively removing pollutants as designed.

The Solution

A floating baffle works like an oxbow in a creek, making making the water take a longer, slower path and thus allowing more sediments and pollutants to filter to bottom of the pond.

Made of impermeable fabric attached to a floating cable on the pond’s surface, the floating baffle acts as a curtain-like barrier that redirects the water's flow. The cable stretches from the pond’s east bank to the west end of its deepest area. The fabric curtain, which is weighted with anchors, descends to the bottom of the pond, leaving only a small window there for the water to flow under before it goes back out of the pond and toward Sweeney Lake and other downstream waters.

When 50 percent of the pond’s loading capacity is reached (expected to be every 10 to 15 years), sediment build-up will be dredged out.

In the event of large storms, the water baffle is designed to float with changing water levels. This allows more storm water to flow
beneath it, preventing water from backing up.