MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have worked to make their new ballpark, Target Field, an environmentally friendly venue, and on Tuesday, the club took another step toward that goal by announcing a unique eco-sponsorship that will help them to reduce water waste.
The Twins and Pentair, a Minneapolis-based worldwide leader in water solutions, are partnering to deliver what officials say will be a new standard for water use in sports facilities.
Target Field will feature a first-of-its-kind Rain Water Recycle System (RWRS) that will capture, conserve and reuse rain water. The system is estimated to reduce the need for municipal water at Target Field by over 50 percent, which should equate to saving more than 2 million gallons of water annually.
It's also a step in helping the Twins to become certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED-certified facilities must meet a rigorous set of environmentally sustainable standards.
"Clean water and conservation are worldwide issues, but that being said, I believe that they hit closer to home in the Land of 10,000 Lakes," Twins president Dave St. Peter said Tuesday in a news conference to announce the partnership. "In our minds, and certainly in the Pohlad family's mind, we're very proud that Target Field is on track to become American's second LEED-certified ballpark. Moreover, Target Field is on the cutting edge in terms of environmental stewardship in sports."
How the RWRS will work is that rain water and irrigation water will be collected from a seven-acre area inside the ballpark. The water will then percolate into the underground drainage system and be stored in a 12-foot diameter cistern beneath the field's warning track in the outfield. A Pentair filtration system will treat and purify the water in the cistern to a level equal to or better than tap water. The water will then be used to wash down the lower decks of the stadium and is also designed to irrigate the field after water quality review by the grounds keeping staff.
In addition to Penair's RWRS, the company will also provide its Everpure tap water filtration systems in all of Target Field's suites, administrative offices and training rooms to enhance water quality and reduce the use of plastic bottled water.
Sports sponsorship agency GreenMark helped the Twins initiate the multi-year deal with Pentair, which marks the first eco-sponsorship of any professional sports team.
"When we began discussion with Greenmark and the Twins about becoming a sponsor, it seemed very natural to us," said Randall J. Hogan, Pentair chairman and CEO. "We're pleased to be able to offer our hometown team a sustainable water solution that is a first in the nation, at any sports venue."
Under the sponsorship, the Twins and Pentair will also partner to raise awareness with fans and the general public about the issues of water scarcity and quality. That includes providing a variety of water-related educational opportunities at Target Field.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.