Stormwater Pollution Prevention & Discharge Permit

Storm drain systems often flow directly to out streams, rivers and lakes without treatment. As water flows downhill it collects different pollutants that are left in its path. It travels to the nearest storm drain where it is carried to the nearest lake, pond, river or stream. Many times these water bodies are places that we use for swimming, fishing and other recreation. To prevent pollution of these bodies of water:

  • Never dump anything onto the street, into a gutter or storm drain
  • Compost yard clippings
  • Sweep leaves an soil from sidewalks and driveways back onto the lawn or compost
  • Wash your vehicles in a car wash or on your lawn, not you driveway
  • Fix oil, radiator and transmission leaks on your vehicles
  • Eliminate or reduce your use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer
  • If you live along a shoreline, plant a vegetated buffer of native plants
  • Landscape and install walkways, driveways, and drainage to let water seep into the ground instead of running off your property
  • Plant a rain garden
  • Set up a rain barrel
  • Pick up after your pets; bury or dispose of waste in the trash
  • Bring leftover toxic material to a waste collection facility: St. Louis County Landfill, 3994 Landfill Road, Hibbing
  • Report illegal dumping: 218-262-3486

Stormwater Pollutants

  • Sediment: Soil, clay, sand and gravel washed from ditches, lawns and driveways. Sediment reduces water clarity, mucks up our streams and lakes, smothers habitat and carries attached pollutants to waterways.
  • Nutrients and Organic Matter: Animal, yard and garden waste, soil, and products such as fertilizer contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which contribute to nuisance algae growth in rivers and lakes. Decomposing organic matter consumes oxygen, which can harm aquatic organisms.
  • Pathogens: Disease causing organisms found in human, pet and other wastes.
  • Chemicals: Herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers from lawns and gardens, detergents from washing our cars, heavy metals and petroleum by products. Toxic substances are harmful to aquatic, terrestrial and human life. Some stay in the environment and cause damage for many years.
  • Chlorides: Road salt. Concentrations from winter months can be very high in Stormwater runoff, which can be toxic to aquatic life.
  • Thermal Impact: Roads, roofs, and sidewalks can increase the temperature of Stormwater as it runs off surfaces. Removing shoreline vegetation also warms streams, lakes and wetlands, stressing fish and invertebrates that are adapted to colder temperatures.
  • Litter: Trash and debris often end up in streams and lakes, diminishing their natural beauty, degrading habitat and harming fish and wildlife.

For more information visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

General Permit Authorization to Discharge Storm Water Associated with municipal separate storm sewer system under the national pollutant discharge elimination system/state disposal system permit program

Permit no. MN R 040000