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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mowing: Please do not mow grass clippings into the street. Instead, direct the mower's output inward, away from the curb.
- Rain Barrels: Quickly store up to 55 gallons per rain barrel, or connect multiple rain barrels to your gutters.
- Rain Gardens
Public education and outreach
Public participation and involvement
Illicit discharge detection and elimination
Construction site runoff control
Post-construction runoff control
Pollution prevention and good housekeeping
"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.
FOLLOW THESE LINKS FOR WILLMAR'S STORMWATER MANAGEMENT:
AN ORDINANCE PROMOTING THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND GENERAL WELFARE OF THE CITIZENS OF WILLMAR, MINNESOTA ADOPTING STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.
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
AUTHORIZATION TO DISCHARGE STORMWATER ASSOCIATED WITH SMALL MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEMS