Stormwater Runoff Awareness

Most people think of stormwater runoff as strictly a flooding problem that occurs after a significant rainstorm. Stormwater runoff is the leading cause of water quality degradation in our waterways. 

In St. Cloud, stormwater washes down storm drains which lead to the storm sewer, which is not connected to the sanitary sewer. It is a separate system that carries the stormwater directly to the nearest water body, such as East Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Tohopekaliga and Lake Runnymede. In many cases, pollutants sent into the storm system receive little, if any, treatment prior to discharging into a water body. 

Learn About NPDES

Stormwater Runs Down Curb Gutter

EPA - NPDES Stormwater Program

Heron Standing in Pond Next to Grassy Patch


What You Can Do to Help

Things you can do to protect our lakes, creeks and ditches include:

  • Recycle yard debris instead of dumping it near streams.
  • Put litter in trash cans where it belongs.
  • Recycle used motor oil and antifreeze.
  • When washing your car, use non-phosphorus soaps or direct soap suds onto the lawn instead of storm drains.
  • Be careful not to destroy stream banks because it can cause soil to wash away.
  • Keep livestock and pets from destroying our creek banks and using the stream as a toilet.

Dos & Don'ts

  • Do rake your trash and use it for mulch, compost or put it in your container on the curb for collection.
  • Do not put your yard trash in the streets and gutters. 
  • Do use fertilizers and pesticides according to their labels. 
  • Do not overuse fertilizers and pesticides or spread them into the streets and gutters. 
  • Do dispose of household hazardous wastes at a proper facility. 
  • Do not pour household hazardous wastes into storm drains, ditches, ponds or lakes.