Stormwater Utility

Stormwater System Information


Most of the city's stormwater is directly discharged to the Mississippi River, Sauk River or wetlands; some runoff is routed through treatment processes including stormwater ponds. The city's stormwater system contains approximately:

  • 142 stormwater treatment ponds
  • 212 outfalls
  • 190 miles of pipe
  • 250 water quality treatment structures
  • 360 infiltration/filtration treatment practices
  • 7,800 catch basins
Water flowing along street and curb into stormdrain

For more information about how the City of St. Cloud designs its stormwater system, watch the video below.

Regulatory Background


Water quality deterioration throughout the United States prompted the US-EPA to mandate stormwater management programs. As a resultthe City of St. Cloud must comply with federal stormwater requirements through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The City is responsible for maintaining compliance with Minnesota’s General National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s).

To comply with the NPDES Permit, the City is implementing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP). The City's SWPPP includes best management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce negative impacts on water quality to the maximum extent possible. The City of St. Cloud's Stormwater Utility has an important role in maintaining and improving water quality and regulatory compliance.

The SWPPP includes 6 categories:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation and Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Controls
  • Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations

Stormwater System Use Code

The City of St. Cloud's Stormwater System Use Code (PDF):

  • Establishes the Stormwater Utility
  • Prohibits illicit connections and discharges
  • Regulates land disturbing activities for erosion and sediment control
  • Establishes legal authority for inspections, monitoring and enforcement of local, state and federal laws

Stormwater Management Plan
St. Cloud's Stormwater Management Plan (PDF) serves as a comprehensive guide to managing the City's stormwater discharges in a cost effective manner.

Anti-Degradation Plan
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) identified the City of St. Cloud as one of 30 cities required to complete an anti-degradation review. The review required the City to compile a report outlining best management practices (BMPs) needed to reduce the City's annual stormwater runoff volume, sediment loads and phosphorus loads to those estimated for the year 1988.