Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan


Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impermeable surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Anything that enters a storm sewer system (typically through a street drain) is discharged into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.

What are the biggest stormwater problems?

  • Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment can also destroy aquatic habitats.
  • Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water harming aquatic organisms.
  • Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards.
  • Debris—plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts—washed into waterbodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds.
  • Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water.
  • Polluted stormwater can affect drinking water sources. This, in turn, can impact human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.

What can I do?

  • Adopt a Drain near you house and help prevent these pollutants from washing into local water bodies https://adopt-a-drain.orgadopt a storm drain logo Opens in new window
  • Properly dispose of Household Hazardous Waste like medicines, paints, chemicals, etc. at the Ramsey County Household Hazardous Waste sites
  • Take your yard waste to a local Ramsey County collection site- don’t let it build up around drains or rake into waterways
  • Remember to clean up your pet waste
  • Install a rain garden or rain barrel on your property
  • Limit herbicide and pesticide applications on your property, especially before windy or rainy days
  • Sweep up excess salt after snow and ice storms
  • Keep your vehicle maintained to prevent auto fluids leaking onto the streets

Visit the MN Pollution Control Agency website for more information about Municipal Stormwater (MS4) Guidelines.

blue and white line graphic depicting rain over a city moving through storm drains into a lake Opens in new window

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

As of March 10, 2003, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency required all cities within the Seven County Metro Region to apply for a General Storm Water Permit (Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems [MS4] Permit) as part of Federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements. In order to comply with new federal regulations, municipalities were required to develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that focuses on ways the municipality will reduce the amount of sediment and pollution entering the surrounding water bodies.

Plan Requirements

The SWPPP requires six minimum control measures that need to be addressed by the City. Each measure is aimed at reducing the amount of pollution entering water bodies through various methods such as public outreach and education, regulatory ordinances and physical structures constructed as a part of the stormwater sewer system. Each control measure includes several best management practices (BMPs) that will be used to accomplish the measure, and each will include measurable goals that can establish the effectiveness of the SWPPP.

Every year the city is required to hold a public meeting on the SWPPP. The city is also required to submit an annual report to the MPCA documenting the accomplishments of the previous year.

MS4 Permit Application