When the Southwest Minneapolis Interceptor Sewer was built in 1918, it was one of the first sanitary sewer lines in Minneapolis. The sewer main and manholes were made from hand-placed bricks and concrete. Almost a century later, parts of the sewer main linking south Minneapolis and St. Louis Park to the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) Treatment Plant in St. Paul have deteriorated to the point where officials said it needed to be repaired to ensure public safety. This involved wetland surveys, tree surveys, soil exploration and numerous meetings with agencies and since the site is in the heart of a dense urban area, there were many informational meetings open to the public. The 39 inch main that needed rehabilitation, crossed through the bird sanctuary and peace garden, and the 60 inch sewer was adjacent to a park and a residential neighborhood. A careful plan was implemented to minimize any disruption to bird nesting and breeding times during the project. Successfully completing installation in the environmentally sensitive bird sanctuary required communication and cooperation with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which owns the 31-acre public parkland. Approximately 57 residences are connected to these sewer mains and the surrounding area has experienced substantial residential growth, to the point where the sewer main serves more than 30,000 people.
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