When It Rains, It Sustains

Baseball fans using Target Field Station have no idea of the complex system going on right under their feet.

Target Field Station, the “Grand Central Station” of Minneapolis, is a unique transit hub connecting the Target Field baseball stadium area and the greater Metro area with more than 500 light rail trains every day.

Springtime and the start of baseball season brings a lot of people through the station for Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball games. It also brings a lot of rain. One of the most notable features of Target Field Station can’t even be seen by the over 8,000 people who travel through the area during games. A first-ever, year-round, cyclical stormwater runoff system uses a sustainable approach to capture and reuse water.

stormwater engineering
The unique amphitheater design of Target Field Station is conducive to collecting rainwater and snow melt.

When it rains, water in the area is funneled into massive storage tanks that pump up to 40,000 gallons of water to the next-door Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) facility where it is reused. The system directs approximately 1 million gallons of stormwater each year to the facility, reducing its demand on the City’s water supply. In the winter, heat generated by the HERC, along with nearly 50 miles of underground tubing melts snow, which is then delivered to the storage tanks. (Partner firm Michaud Cooley Erickson developed the snow-melt system.) Water not collected by these systems is filtered and discharged safely back into the City’s water system where it ends up in the Mississippi River.

Minneapolis engineering design
A complex drainage system at Target Field Station allows rainwater and snow melt to be used by a nearby energy facility.

Hennepin County and SEH have recently been recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies with a National Award for their work in Target Field Station’s pioneering, sustainable design. The project has also received several local awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Public Works Association.

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