Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management 

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What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff is rainfall that flows over the ground surface. It is created when rain falls on roads, driveways, parking lots, rooftops, and other paved surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. Stormwater runoff is a leading source of water pollution and excess surface runoff to streams. 

Get information on the Rain Barrel Program

What’s the Difference between Storm Drains and Sanitary Sewers?

City Storm Drains are separate from Sanitary Sewers and do not drain into municipal wastewater treatment facilities but carry Stormwater Runoff from a catch basin (a.k.a., storm drain inlet, curb inlet) into streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and wetlands. The Sanitary Sewer is a system of underground pipes that carries sewage from bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, and other plumbing components to the wastewater treatment plant where it is filtered, treated, and discharged.

storm-vs-sanitary

Where does Stormwater Runoff go?
With each rainfall, large and small, thousands of gallons of runoff (stormwater) runs across surfaces of rooftops, pavement, streets, and even lawns. When Stormwater cannot sink into the ground, it has nowhere to go but to flow across the surface of the ground picking up everything in its paths such as trash, leaves, grass, oil, sediment and other pollutants flowing either directly into streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and wetlands, or down the nearest storm drain and then into the nearest waterway without any treatment.

View the annual Stormwater Presentation

How can Stormwater Runoff be reduced or prevented? 

Residents can engage in a number of at-home solutions to reduce unwanted stormwater runoff:

  1. Aim downspouts onto the grass, away from foundations and paved surfaces. For roofs without gutters, plant grass spread mulch, or use rocks under the drip line to prevent soil erosion and increase the ground's capacity to absorb water.
  2. Maintain your segment of the street: Sweeping and collecting leaves away from the bottom of your driveway and curb. Although the City of Willmar uses street sweeping tactics, every bit helps.
  3. If you live near a storm drain, cleaning the leaves from the drain and bagging them gets the hard-to-reach places that even street sweepers miss.
  4. Mowing: Please do not mow grass clippings into the street. Instead, direct the mower's output inward, away from the curb.
  5. Rain Barrels: Quickly store up to 55 gallons per rain barrel, or connect multiple rain barrels to your gutters.
  6. Rain Gardens
Stormwater Pollution Prevention
The City of Willmar is required to have stormwater pollution prevention programs which includes six areas that combine to reduce the discharge of pollutants from storm sewer systems as much as possible: 
  1. Public education and outreach
  2. Public participation and involvement
  3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  4. Construction site runoff control
  5. Post-construction runoff control
  6. Pollution prevention and good housekeeping 
From the MPCA 
"Much of the overall success will depend on citizen involvement," says Randy Hukriede, manager of the MPCA's southwest region. "There are many ways individuals can help, from cutting back on lawn fertilizers to creating rain gardens that slow down and filter stormwater." The city has been looking for sites to create stormwater retention ponds. One is being developed adjacent to the new Wal-Mart store in the Water View Business Park in southeast Willmar.

"The city has been encouraged to aggressively manage new development as well as begin a long-term retrofitting of existing urban areas to minimize the impact of stormwater runoff," says Bruce Wilson of the MPCA. "State and local agencies have been working on a plan to restore Grass Lake southeast of the Highway 23-71 bypass. In this regard, it will be important for Willmar to treat as much of its stormwater as possible prior to discharge to Grass Lake or Lake Wakanda."

FOLLOW THESE LINKS FOR WILLMAR'S STORMWATER MANAGEMENT:

ORDINANCE NO. 1227 | STORMWATER MANAGEMENT ORDINANCE
AN ORDINANCE PROMOTING THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND GENERAL WELFARE OF THE CITIZENS OF WILLMAR, MINNESOTA ADOPTING STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.

ORDINANCE NO.1334 | CHAPTER 17
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF WILLMAR ADOPTING A NEW CHAPTER 17, SURFACE WATER MANAGEMENT, ARTICLE I, IN GENERAL, AND ARTICLE II, ILLICIT DISCHARGE AND ILLEGAL CONNECTION TO THE CITY’S STORMWATER DRAINAGE SYSTEM

MPCA GENERAL PERMIT
AUTHORIZATION TO DISCHARGE STORMWATER ASSOCIATED WITH SMALL MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEMS