Katrina Kessler named new director of Surface Water and Sewers
Katrina Kessler is the new director of Surface Water and Sewers in the Public Works Department. The Surface Water and Sewers Division manages stormwater and surface water in the city to protect and improve the quality of its lakes, streams and rivers and help control flooding.
In her new role, Kessler will oversee a staff of 125-150 people who are responsible for managing the operations and maintenance of the city’s storm and sanitary sewers, a system that includes more than 1400 miles of pipe – some of which is more than a century old. The team assesses the pipes and prioritizes their replacement in coordination with numerous other public agencies. Engineers design new storm sewers and sanitary pipes and they also design reconstructions of the pipes. The team also carries out the rules and regulations for the joint storm water permit the City holds with the Minneapolis Park Board from the State. The State requires inspecting runoff from developments, educating neighborhoods and businesses on how to keep stormwater clean, and testing the water quality of lakes, creeks and rivers.
Kessler brings more than 15 years of engineering and leadership experience to the City. Most recently she served as manager of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Water Assessment Section, overseeing a team of scientists and engineers who were responsible for coordinating with multiple agencies to:
- Study water quality data from streams and rivers across the state to determine whether they met standards or were impaired.
- Set discharge limits on municipal wastewater treatment plants.
- Monitor and assess groundwater.
- Research ways to protect water and pass legislation around those measures.
Recently her team at the MPCA led efforts to adopt new standards for phosphorous in rivers.
Kessler worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for 13 years. Before that she worked as an engineering consultant. She holds a master’s degree in environmental and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota. She earned her bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington D.C., where she also played rugby.
Kessler volunteers at her children’s elementary school and coaches their soccer team. She also mentors an Urban Scholar as a networking advisor.
Published Jun 28, 2016