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Inside Look at New Ballpark Water Conservation Project

KSTP TV - As 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS examined Minnesota's water worries, many experts agreed conservation is one of the keys to sustaining the state's water supply for decades to come.

And amid ongoing construction, at a stadium being built for America's favorite pastime, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS got a glimpse into Minnesota's future.

It begins on the roof of the Metro Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility building in downtown St. Paul. Once the snow melts, any rain that falls onto about an acre of rooftop will flow into drains, course through an extensive system of pipes, and flow into an enclosed corner of CHS Field, the new ballpark being built for the St. Paul Saints.

"This is going to be able to hold 27,000 gallons of water at a time," said Wes Saunders-Pearce, water resources coordinator for the City of St. Paul.

The rainwater will be treated on site and used to help irrigate the field and flush some of the stadium's toilets.

"So what comes out for use is essentially free of any germs or any particles," Saunders-Pearce said.

It's a $300,000 stormwater reuse project that is one of the first of its kind in Minnesota.

"We're showing people that rain can be used as a resource, rather than a waste product that just gets sent directly to the river," Saunders-Pearce said.

He added that the project is both a novelty and something that can be replicated in other places.

"This really is something that is starting to set a trend here in the Twin Cities, and in the state," Saunders-Pearce said.

The system will be fully operational in a few months—that is, assuming rain will be falling by then.

The conservation project was paid for by grants from Minnesota's Clean Water Legacy Fund.

The $63 million CHS Field is expected to be open by the time the Saints play their first regular season game on May 21.

Find out more about Minnesota's water supply concerns here.