Protecting Our Surface Water

Awareness is Key

No amount of government planning can solve the problems of our water supplies without the help of residents. The more the public is made aware of the issues associated with stormwater, the better the City can prepare and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to reduce stormwater and surface water pollution. A public meeting was held March 11, 2015 to review the City's efforts to reduce storm water and surface water pollution. [view presentation]

How You Can Help

AdSign up to adopt a storm drain at Adopt-a-drain.orgopt a Storm Drain at

Keeping the storm drain in the street clear of debris and snow and ice can help improve safety, prevent flooding, and improve water quality.  15 minutes of work twice a month is all it takes.  Sign up at the Adopt-a-Drain website.  


Rainwater Harvesting - Rain Barrels

A simple way for you to help reduce the amount of excess runoff is to use a rain barrel for harvesting rainwater from your rooftop. A rain barrel is a container that is placed under a downspout to capture runoff from your roof. A quarter inch rainfall on the average home rooftop yields over 200 gallons of water. A spigot and hose can be attached to the rain barrel so the water can be re-used for watering plants around your yard. Rain barrels, kits and instructions are available at some lawn & garden facilities and home improvement stores.

Rainwater Harvesting - Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are another way for you to help reduce the amount of runoff that enters the city's storm drainage system. A rain garden is a perennial garden with special types of plants, trees and shrubs that can tolerate periods of saturated soils. With proper planning and planting, these gardens will attract much of the runoff from your yard before it enters the city's storm system. 

For more information about the benefits of rain barrels and rain gardens, visit the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District website.

Tips for Lawn and Garden

  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. Rosemount soil is high in phosphorous and may not need increased application.
  • Compost or mulch yard waste. Do not leave it in the street or sweep it into the storm drains.
  • Cover dirt piles and mulch to avoid washing into the streets and storm sewers.
  • Avoid using too much salt on driveways and walkways in the winter. This video from MnDOT explains the harmful effects of chloride in our water.
  • Check out the University of Minnesota Turfgrass Webinar on Lawn Care Best Management Practices for more tips.

Tips for Automotive Care

  • More oil washes down storm drains each year than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez oil tanker. Never place automotive fluids into a storm drain. Take motor oil and other automotive fluids to a service station or the Dakota County Eco Site for disposal (click here for details).
  • Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand. Do not rinse the spills into a storm drain. Remember to properly dispose of the absorbent material.
  • Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty soapy water flowing into the storm drain.

Tips for Construction

  • Divert stormwater away from the construction site area.
  • Install silt fences or other erosion-control applications around the perimeter of the construction site to prevent soil erosion and sediment deposition.
  • Minimize the disturbed areas and cover (sod, seed and mulch) the area as soon as possible.

Tips for Home Repair and Improvement

  • Locate and protect nearby storm drains from loose material and other debris.
  • Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
  • Purchase paint, solvents and cleaners in small amounts. Store them properly to avoid leaks and spills. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of waste properly.

Become a WHEP Volunteer

Visit our WHEP page to learn more about this program

Helpful Resources

Water Friendly Yards

Video about illicit discharge - Center for Watershed Protection