What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that does not soak into the ground. It flows from roofs, driveways, parking lots, and through lawns. As it flows, stormwater runoff can collect and transport soil, pet waste, salt, fertilizer, oil, leaves, litter and other pollutants. What we do at home and at work affects our local lakes and wetlands, because our storm drains and ditches are connected to these waterbodies.

Stormwater Management

According to the National Water Quality Inventory, stormwater runoff from developed areas is the leading source of water pollution. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has a plan to address stormwater pollution in urbanized areas, which requires cities, like the City of St. Michael, that own and operate a storm sewer system to obtain a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The MS4 permit mandates MS4 communities to monitor and reduce the amount of pollution that enters their storm sewer system through a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Each SWPPP contains six categories:

  1. Public Education and outreach;

  2. Public participation and involvement;

  3. Illegal discharge detection and elimination;

  4. Construction site stormwater runoff control;

  5. Post-construction stormwater management; and,

  6. Good housekeeping and pollution prevention practices for municipal operations.

The City of St. Michael has developed a SWPPP to comply with the MPCA’s requirements and you can review the plan below.

Illicit Discharges

By definition, an illicit discharge is the unlawful act of disposing or dumping of any substance other than rainwater into the streets, gutters, ditches, and ponds that make up our stormwater drainage system, or directly into streams or lakes themselves.

Even some fairly common activities could be considered illicit discharge, like dumping leaves, grass clippings, motor oil, paint or other household hazard wastes into a storm drain, allowing discharges from failing septic systems, and improper disposal of sewage from boating or camping. The result is untreated garbage and filth that can contribute high levels of pollutants, like heavy metals, toxics, oil and grease, solvents, nutrients, viruses, and bacteria to our lakes and streams - so we all need to be aware of what goes into our storm drains.

If you see anyone discharging any substance other than stormwater in roadside ditches and storm drains, please report it to the City of St. Michael Engineering Department at 763-497-2041. For hazardous materials or spills, call 9-1-1 FIRST when there is an immediate threat to life or property.

SWPPP and Annual Reporting

Stormwater management is important to the City of St. Michael. Below you can review our SWPPP:

Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan

The Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan was developed to meet local watershed management planning requirements and has been modeled after the Metropolitan Surface Water Management Act and Board of Water and Soil Resources Rules 8410. The document and its referenced literature is intended to provide a comprehensive inventory of pertinent water resource related information that affects the City and management of those resources.

Questions regarding the Comprehensive Storm Water Management can be directed to Nick Preisler, City Engineer, at 763-416-7936, or nickp@stmichaelmn.gov

Additional Information

In 2012, the City of St. Michael partnered with landowners, the Crow River Organization of Water (CROW), Wright Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Minnesota Department of natural Resources to complete a streambank stabilization stabilization and restoration project on the Crow River.  The streambank slope was eroded and unstable causing approximately 416 tons of soil per year to enter the Crow River.  To correct the problem, the slope was regraded to establish a floodplain bench.  It was then protected by root wads placed perpendicular to the flow, covered with willow stakes, erosion control blanket, planted with native grasses, and wildflowers.  A j-hook made up of three to five foot boulders was placed on the upstream end, extending from the streambank outward into the river channel.  This will help redirect the flow back to the center of the river during medium and low flow conditions, taking pressure off the bank.  For more information about the project, check out:

You can help keep our waters clean…

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• Factsheets

Questions about Stormwater or the SWPPP?

If you have a stormwater question or would like to report an illicit discharge, please contact Nick Preisler, City Engineer, at 763-416-7936, or nickp@stmichaelmn.gov.