After studying the degradation and poor water quality of Jennings Bay, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District identified seven construction areas to increase storage capacity of Painter Creek and reduce nutrient discharge into Jennings Bay. In 1985, MCWD constructed outlet structures at Lake Katrina, Pond 937, and Painter Marsh; installed two sediment basins as South Katrina Marsh and Painter Marsh; installed a fish barrier; and undertook channel clearing and widening to increase capacity. In 1997, MCWD removed accumulated sediment and increased the size of the Painter Marsh and South Katrina sediment basins.  

Historically, the water quality of Painters Creek has been degraded due to Maple Plain wastewater treatment plant discharge and agricultural land uses. This has adversely impacted Jennings Bay as well and is strongly suspected to be the cause for a significant build-up of nutrients in Jennings Bay sediments. Jennings Bay has an estimated phosphorus loading of 4,800 lbs. per year (16 lbs./acre of lake surface area). Painters Creek non-point source loading contributes nearly 50% of the total loading to Jennings Bay. 

At a Glance

  • Mound
  • Painter Creek Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 1997

MCWD Staff Contact

Josh Wolf



Project Cost


Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

1970 — Water quality data gathered

1980 — MCWD Board of Managers orders Painter Creek Watershed Study

1995 — Additional water quality data gathered to inform design upgrades

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

1983— Public Hearing to determine project design

1985 — Construction design finalized

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

1985 — Construction of the structures

1997 — Upgrades constructed

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Project completion

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Project Completion

1997 — Project complete

By the Numbers


Square Feet

of channel volume increased


acre feet

of flood storage created


year flood

risk reduced in Lake minnetonka

Project Highlights

  • New outlet structures at Lake Katrina and Pond 937 
  • New sediment basins at South Katrina and Painter Marsh 
  • Channel clearing and widening  
  • Painter Drive culvert reconstruction 

I think the proposals have great potential for slowing the excessive flow that comes with heavy rainfall. And it’s essentially marshland that’s affected. And I think it will slow the flow of nutrients and have the ultimate effect of improved water quality for Lake Minnetonka.

State Sen. Gen Olson – Sun Newspapers, 1983 


The projects in the Painter Creek subwatershed were completed solely by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.


Project Cost: $1,000,000

The project was completely funded by MCWD.