Surface Water

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Surface water is water that collects on the surface of the ground and carry only surface runoff, street wash and snow melt from the land. Surface water storm sewers are completely separate from those that carry wastewater (sanitary sewers) and municipal water (tap water). 

The Surface Water Maintenance Division maintains the city’s surface water drainage system, which includes catch basins, storm sewers, creeks, ponds, wetlands, lakes, lift stations and ditches to manage surface water runoff.

The surface water drainage system is designed to accommodate the quantity of water runoff, thus protecting residents from flooding and removing significant amounts of pollutants from the water. 

Surface Water Drainage Map [PDF]

Surface Water Drainage Policy [PDF]

Responsibilities include:

  • Mowing and spraying drainage ditches
  • Sweeping streets 
  • Maintenance of ditches and retention/detention ponds 
  • Maintenance of catch basins
  • Maintenance and repair of storm sewer pipes

Find information on the city’s Surface Water rates.

WHAT IS SURFACE WATER RUNOFF? HOW IS IT COLLECTED?

Surface water runoff is the rain and melting snow that flows off streets, rooftops, lawns and farmland. The flowing water carries salt, sand, soil, pesticides, fertilizers, leaves, grass clippings, oil, litter and many other pollutants.

Surface water storm sewers collect runoff mostly through a network of pipes often located beneath streets and parking lots, but occasionally they are located in backyards in surface water retention ponds and ditches.

WHO OWNS SURFACE WATER RETENTION PONDS?

Most surface water retention ponds in the city are owned by the homeowners abutting the ponds, not the city. Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your yard up to the water’s edge. Contact the city for a site survey to identify your property’s markers and visit the easements page for more information.

DO NOT FISH OR SWIM IN SURFACE WATER PONDS.

Surface water retention ponds and ditches collect runoff from city pavements and contain sediment, phosphorus, micro-organism and toxic chemicals. Do not swim in surface water retention ponds or stock the ponds with fish.

MY NEIGHBOR HAS REDIRECTED WATER ONTO MY PROPERTY. WHAT CAN THE CITY DO TO HELP?

Please contact the Public Works Department at (952) 233-9550. While matters such as this are generally civil in nature, a representative from the Surface Water Maintenance Division will conduct an inspection of your property and may act in an advisory capacity to assist you with possible solutions to the problem. A community service officer may also be contacted to investigate any potential code violations pertaining to the flooding.  

THERE ARE LEAVES COVERING THE DRAIN IN THE STREET. WHO SHOULD I CALL?

You may contact the Public Works Department at (952) 233-9550. Maintenance staff or a street sweeper will be dispatched to remove the leaves and debris. If you are so inclined, feel free to remove the leaves yourself. Not only is it good exercise, but is of great assistance to us, especially in the fall months. 

Surface Water Management

Learn more about how the city, residents and businesses work together to better manage surface water runoff: Surface Water Management Pollution Prevention Program.

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