Lutsen Mountains Corporation

Lutsen Water Supply

Water Supply Line from Lake Superior

LHB was hired by the Lake Superior/Poplar River Water District in Lutsen, MN to design a new water withdrawal system from Lake Superior. The new water system is used for snowmaking at Lutsen Mountains, to irrigate the Superior National Golf Course, and as a drinking water supply for the district. The water system uses a 36-inch diameter HDPE intake pipe extended 350-feet out into the lake to withdraw water. The lake water enters a concrete pit that was constructed 25-feet deep into the bedrock on the Lake Superior shoreline.

The water is withdrawn from the pit using three, 2,500-gallon-per-minute rated vertical turbine pumps that lift the water 425 vertical feet over a 2.1-mile distance to the Lutsen Mountain ski area and discharge the water into two open storage ponds. The water in the storage ponds is used for snow-making operations on the ski hill. Line taps are provided for irrigation of the golf course and supply of water to a drinking water treatment facility.

Project Type Lake Superior Water Intake System
Location Lutsen, MN
Completion Date September 2016

Snow Making Water Storage Pond

The system includes a 36-inch-diameter intake pipe extending into Lake Superior from a new pumping facility that delivers the lake water to two water storage ponds used for making snow at the Lutsen Mountains ski area and to a new water treatment plant at Caribou Highlands.


24-inch diameter HDPE force main pipe

The force main piping is a combination of 24-inch and 20-inch-diameter HDPE pipe extending approximately 11,000 linear feet from the pump house at the lake shore to the Lutsen Mountains ski facility approximately 425 feet above the lake elevation.

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Pump House on the Lakeshore

A pump house constructed on the lake shore houses three vertical turbine pumps that extend down into the below grade pit. The pit is constructed approximately 32 feet below the pump house requiring blasting and removal of rock to a depth of approximately 25 feet.

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