MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Department of Transportation was having trouble keeping track of its several hundred drainage ponds at highway interchanges. So it has named some of them Bart, Barney, Milhouse and Cletus.
Yes, TV's "The Simpsons" has come to stormwater runoff management, courtesy of MnDOT hydrologist Patrick McLarnon. "It's just something fun," he said, and a better naming scheme than the numbers and letters that used to be employed.
The Simpsons ponds -- there's also Apu, Clancy Wiggum, Maggie, Itchy, Lenny, Quimby, Scratchy and Seymour -- are all part of the Interstate 494-Highway 61 interchange project in Newport in the metro area.
McLarnon also has named ponds after "Happy Days" characters Richie, Joanie, Chachi and the Fonz along Interstate 94 and for "Star Wars" aliens along Highway 12.
None of the names appear on plaques at the ponds, but that's how they're designated in MnDOT databases to track water quality and runoff flows.
Other MnDOT planners use different naming schemes, McLarnon said. One had a project with five ponds, which he named for his five children.
What's next? "Maybe 'South Park,"' McLarnon said.
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