Stormwater is water that comes from rain or melting snow. This runoff can flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as building rooftops, paved streets and parking lots, and does not soak into the ground. As the runoff flows, it can pick up various pollutants, including trash, chemicals, oils and dirt/sediment that can harm our streams and lakes. To help protect these waterbodies, state and federal rules and regulations have been established to help manage stormwater.
Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP)
In 1987, amendments to the Clean Water Act were put into effect with a comprehensive national program to address pollutants in stormwater runoff. The program covers construction sites, industrial activities and municipal storm sewer systems.
This program resulted in stormwater regulations for the City of St. Louis Park as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegated permitting authority for Minnesota's NPDES program to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), which developed a general permit that authorizes the city to discharge stormwater.
The City of St. Louis Park’s SWPPP was created to satisfy the requirements of the MPCA’s general permit and serve the city by providing a framework of programs and practices to control stormwater runoff from the city's jurisdiction.
The documents listed below were created to meet the requirements of the MPCA’s permit:
- 2019 SWPPP initiatives
- 2019 total maximum daily load annual report
- 2018 SWPPP annual report
- 2018 SWPPP activity highlights
- SWPPP application for reauthorization
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (revised)
- St. Louis Park non-degradation report
- St. Louis Park storm sewer and receiving waters map
- St. Louis Park pond inventory report
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program
The NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities and industrial activities. NPDES permits maybe required before operators of these systems can discharge stormwater. These permits aim to help prevent stormwater from carrying harmful pollutants into surface waters. Additional NPDES information can be found at the EPA's NPDES Stormwater Program, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's stormwater, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's MS4 webpages.
Help us protect our lakes, streams and wetlands by adopting a storm drain and keeping it clear of leaves, trash and other debris. The simple act of sweeping up around a storm drain helps protect local lakes and rivers by preventing pollution from entering our shared waterways.
To adopt a storm drain, visit Adopt-a-Drain.org. Simply create an account with your name and address to claim your storm drain. Once you’ve signed up, Adopt-a-Storm-Drain will send you tips on how to clean up safely.
With more than 300,000 storm drains in the metro area, everyone’s help is important in making an impact! Learn more on Clean Water Minnesota's website.
The city is always looking for innovative ways to manage stormwater and improve water quality, especially in the Bass Lake Preserve watershed. The following studies have been developed to assist St. Louis Park in managing stormwater:
- Beltline Boulevard area SWLRT station planning
- Bass Lake Preserve drainage system study
- Bass Lake watershed map
Learn more about stormwater
- MPCA's Stormwater Program for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)
- MPCA's stormwater program for construction activity
- MPCA's Minnesota's Impaired Waters List
- MPCA's homeowner fact sheet for erosion prevention and sediment control
- Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Ecological and Water Resources Division
- Minnehaha Creek Watershed District - What can I do?