Snail Lake Augmentation

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Tom Wesolowski, City Engineer
Phone: 651.490.4652 | E-mail Tom
Snail Lake is approximately 156-acres with an average depth of less than 15 feet and a maximum depth of 30 feet. Historically, Snail Lake has had problems with erratic lake levels. To establish consistent lake levels, residents used ground water to augment the lake until the DNR stopped the use of ground water for augmentation in the late 1980’s.

In 1993, a new augmentation system was installed with an agreement from St. Paul Water to pull water from Sucker Lake and pump it into Snail Lake. In October of 2007, the system was ordered to stop pumping water due to the discovery of Zebra Mussels in Sucker Lake. 

In 2008, the City met with the DNR to discuss possible options to allow pumping to resume. The City completed an invasive species control feasibility study that revealed the possibility of a facility to screen zebra mussels. Design of the new facility began in 2009 and construction began that summer. After the facility was complete and operational, the City received a permit from the DNR to allow pumping to resume. 

The Augmentation System Description

Water is provided by St. Paul Water by means of 2-60 inch conduits located along County Road I that pull water from the Mississippi River and pump it into Charlie Lake located in North Oaks. The water then flows to Pleasant Lake, then Sucker Lake and then finally to Vadnais Lake. The inlet structure for augmentation is located in Sucker Lake. Water is pumped to the screening facility located off of Rice Street. 

The screening facility has a flow rate of 1700-1800 gallons per minute and is designed to filter out adult and adolescent zebra mussels. The main screen filters out at 250 microns and the 2 finer screens filter at 25 microns. From the facility, the majority of the water flows by gravity to the outlet in Snail Lake.