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Management of Surface Water Resources

Protecting our Water Resources

Our lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands are one of our most valuable natural resources. The City of Lake Elmo is committed to protecting these natural resources for future generations and you can help. Paved streets, parking lots, yard wastes, soil erosion, and rooftops can contribute to the collection of pollutants like pesticides, sediment, oil, chemicals, and litter that make their way through the drainage systems and discharge, in many cases untreated, to our lakes, rivers, groundwater and streams.  Stormwater runoff does not go to a wastewater treatment plant. Research shows that runoff is a leading source of water pollution.

How you Can Help Keep our Lakes, Rivers and Streams Clean?

Residents can reduce their environmental impact by:

  • Minimizing the use of pesticides, fertilizers and deicing materials.
  • Properly disposing of hazardous wastes.
  • Washing your car on the lawn.
    Using a nonphosphorus fertilizer.
  • Keeping trash and yard clippings out of the street and storm drains.
  • Constructing and maintaining a rain garden on your properly to retain stormwater for filtering before it leaves the property.

City Stormwater Services

The City of Lake Elmo provides services to manage, conserve and protect the city’s surface water resources. Left unmanaged, stormwater (rainfall and snowmelt) can have devastating consequences by transporting to these water bodies oil, chemicals, excess phosphorous, toxic metals, litter, and disease-causing organisms. Proper management and protection is necessary to retain a clean and sustainable natural water resource.

Management of water resources in the city is highly regulated and mandated by the federal and state governments. To comply with the federal and state laws on surface water management, the city is responsible for the physical drainage system (storm sewer, ditches, ponds, etc.) and protection of water bodies from degradation within the watershed. Stormwater within the city is transported or contained in a physical drainage system that must be constructed, inventoried, inspected, maintained, and eventually replaced or improved. It is also the city’s responsibility to share in the studies, investigations, communications, policies, education, and outreach to protect the water bodies that are within the city’s watershed. This includes protection of all the water facilities (lakes, wetlands, rivers, etc.) both within and downstream of the city.

To guide and direct these services, the city has developed a Local Surface Water Management Plan (LSWMP). The plan was prepared as part of the city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan and meets the requirements of the local watersheds and the Metropolitan Surface Water Management Act. The plan outlines the overlying goals and objectives, priorities, and implementation program for management and protection of surface waters, ground water, and related natural resources in the city.

2030 Surface Water Management Plan

How does the City Pay for Stormwater Services

To pay for surface water management services, a Surface Water Management Utility Fee is assessed annually to all Lake Elmo property owners.  All property owners in Lake Elmo are required to share in these costs to responsibly manage surface water and to comply with the federal and state rules and regulations. Please see the Stormwater Utility link below for more information.

Stormwater Utility

Erosion Control

Storm Water Pollution Protection Program (MS4 Permit – Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System)

For more information, please contact Assistant City Engineer Ryan Stempski at 651.300.4267.