City threatens suit over building’s discharge of water into Chain of Lakes

The owners of a building near the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis could face a lawsuit from the city for discharging thousands of gallons of water an hour into the nearby lakes through a storm sewer.

The Minneapolis City Council has authorized a lawsuit against Lake and Knox LLC, the  owners of the luxury apartment building 1800 Lake on Calhoun, according to a statement released Monday.

The city contends that building managers are keeping their underground garage dry by pumping about 170 gallons of water a minute into a storm sewer without a permit. The sewer empties into a lagoon between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun.

“The effects of the illegal discharge came to light last winter when it thinned ice on the lagoon, jeopardizing the safety of cross-country skiers on the lake,” according to the city’s statement. “The continual flow of groundwater has also prevented routine maintenance on the storm sewer, causing other adverse environmental impacts.”

The city said that Lake and Knox LLC has ignored demands to correct the situation. Minneapolis spokesperson Casper Hill said the lawsuit is pending, but declined to comment further.

Reached by phone, one of the building’s owners, Daniel Oberpriller, declined to comment on the lawsuit. The Shelard Group, which manages the building, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.