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What You Can Do To Keep Water Clean
Did You Know?

Trees Tame Storm Water
Planting a tree can have numerous benefits for our community.  Check out this interactive poster from to see the extent of flooding, outfall discharge amounts, and clarity of water as you move from few trees to abundant trees.

Want to help plant trees in Rochester?  Get involved with RNeighborWoods - a program of RNeighbors - to become a Certified Citizen Forester!

Storm Water Ponds

NEW: Adopt-A-Stormwater Pond Program

Congratulations and a huge thank you to the following groups for adopting a storm water pond:

-Lake George Association
-RCLS Boy Scouts
-White Oaks Townhomes NW
-Harriet Bishop Elementary School
-Neighborhood Residents
-Thorson-Kelly Project
-John Adams Science Alive
-Cub Scout Pack 99 - Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
-WHKS & Co.
-Merle Thompson
-Crimson Ridge Circle Neighborhood
-Bill Webbles

Frequently Asked Questions About Storm Water Management Ponds

What Can I Do About Pond Nuisances?               

Area Lake Information

Conservation Minnesota provides information and tools to help Minnesotans and their elected leaders protect our lands and waters.  Go to to learn more and link to the “Is My Lake Safe” search tool ( to view their ratings for swimming and eating fish for each tested lake.


When people conduct unauthorized activities on private property, it is called trespassing.  When people conduct unauthorized activities on public land or in legally platted drainage easements, it is called encroachment.  Sometimes people do not know they have a drainage easement on their property or understand why it needs to be kept free of obstructions.  Sometimes people knowingly disturb the intended function of public land and easements by such unacceptable practices as: building structures, storing vehicles, dumping yard waste, planting trees and gardens, or removing vegetation. 

In rare instances, activities that do not change the intended function of the land can be allowed, however, people that wish to change or utilize public property or drainage easements must first apply for a revocable permit.  For more information on the revocable permit process, contact Mark Baker via email or 328-2427. 

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program

What is an illicit discharge?
Anything that goes into the storm sewer system that is not storm water is considered an illicit discharge.  This includes but is not limited to:
   -Grass clippings and leaves
   -Pet waste
   -Motor oils
   -Lawn chemicals
   -Sidewalk de-icers
   -Runoff from washing a car at home

When pollutants like these enter storm drains, they are carried through ditches and storm sewers into our streams and rivers where they can harm aquatic life.  In addition, these contaminants can soak into our groundwater - the source of our drinking water.  Eliminating illicit discharges protects the water we drink.

What if I see storm drain dumping or unusual discharges near an outfall?
If you observe an illicit discharge during regular business hours, please call the Storm Water Customer Service Line: 507-328-2440.  If you see suspicious discharges on evenings or weekends, call the Non-Emergency Police Dispatch: 507-328-6800.

For your safety, view discharges from afar.  Note the condition of the substance, where and when the discharge occurred (including the closest street address), and make your report as soon as you can.  The sooner we learn about these incidents, the better our chance of finding the source and correcting the problem!

I want to learn more!
View the City's Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Standard Operating Procedures here.