- May 11, 2020
The pump on Union Lake was put in place as a solution to the high water on Lake Sarah and Union Lakes in Polk County, MN. The location of the problem is in eastern Polk County, involving the townships of Woodside, Garden, Knute and Winger. The problem stems from the continued high water levels on Union Lake and Lake Sarah. The water levels had been rising f as a result of heavy snow fall levels and higher than normal rainfall. The two lakes are spring fed and do not possess an outlet. In addition Lake Sarah has an inlet allowing area run-off water to enter the lake compounding the high water level.
It was estimated that the water level had risen some 6 to 8 feet. It was also estimated that
some 150 property owners along the lake shore were being affected on the two lakes. Properties were
being inundated with the high water, water that does not recede. In addition to the cabins, boathouses
and other out-buildings the sewer drainfields, beaches and lawns were being affected. Potentially the water quality of the two bodies of water could have also been affected.
Preliminary feasibility studies followed by a petition to the watershed board to establish a project with all the legal requirements associated with this process were completed.
Due to an outbreak of Eurasion Mill Foil on Union Lake, a screen was put in place to avoid the transfer to other lakes when the pump is use. The Sand Hill River Watershed District, along with the Lake Improvement District and the County cost-shared the cost fo the screen in 2009.
Sounds like Flood Hazard Mitigation Grant funds were used?
In 2012, the Union Lake Pump was transferred to the Sand Hill River Watershed District by the Lake Improvement District. August 10, 2012 was the final hearing.
To dowload a map of the assessed area, CLICK HERE.
The total project cost was estimated to be $30,000.00, with a 50/50 match. The Union Lake Sarah Improvement District committed to $15,000.00 in
cash and received $15,000 from the MN DNR Flood Hazard Mitigation Grant.
The pump is turned on when river levels reach a certain level at the guage in Climax, MN.
The Sand Hill River Watershed currently levies the assessed area to maintain the pump. Maintenance costs reserved for unexpected problems, electricity and administration of the project.