Woodbury's stormwater system includes catch basins, storm sewers, creeks, ponds, wetlands, lakes, lift stations, and ditches to manage stormwater run-off. The city improves, constructs, and maintains these facilities as necessary to accommodate run-off. The stormwater system not only manages run-off originating within Woodbury but also water from the cities of Afton, Lake Elmo, Maplewood, and Oakdale. The city has primary responsibility for the construction and operation of the stormwater drainage system. All of the water in the city makes its way to the Mississippi River, Saint Croix River, or infiltrates into the groundwater aquifer.
Many of the procedures carried out by the city that can impact surface water and the stormwater system are subject to review and approval by other regulatory agencies. These agencies include watershed districts, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and United States Corps of Engineers.
A stormwater pond is an area that collects and holds water from rain and snowmelt. Constructed stormwater ponds also collect debris and nutrients in an effort to protect downstream lakes, rivers, and wetlands.
Most commercial and residential developments built since the 1980s utilize stormwater ponds to reduce flooding and downstream water pollution. Though these ponds may look natural, they are actually highly engineered systems, designed to control the rate of runoff and hold water back until sediment and other solids can settle out. Stormwater ponds have inlet and outlet pipes and need to be dredged periodically to remove the accumulated sediment.
Because stormwater ponds are designed to capture sediment and nutrients, they frequently turn green with algae in the summer. Pollution sources could include:
- Dust and dirt
- Lawn clippings
- Construction sediment
- Oils, greases, and automotive additives
- Lawn-care products such as fertilizers or pesticides
- Animal debris or waste
- Wind-blown chemicals
Though you might see ducks and geese landing in these ponds, they are not safe for fishing, swimming, or other recreation. Parents should instruct children not to play near these ponds.
Stormwater ponds are designed primarily for water quality treatment and flood control. Residents are prohibited from altering any aspect of a city-owned and maintained stormwater pond.
Residents are encouraged to contact the Environmental Division at 651-714-3593 with any questions they may have regarding the system.
Don't Release Aquarium Fish or Plants Into Our Ponds & Lakes
Please don't release pets or any aquatic plants into our ponds and lakes. Species such as goldfish and koi are not native to Minnesota and can be destructive to native wildlife and their habitats. Plus, they are extremely difficult to catch once in our water bodies. They may even carry new viruses or diseases and introduce them to our waters. If you must find a new home for a pet, please follow these guidelines from the Habitattitude Program:·
- Contact a local pet store for suggestions on placement or for possible returns.
- Give to a responsible family member, friend, pet owner/water gardener, or school if they are ready for a new pet.
- Donate to or trade with a local hobbyist club (i.e.: reptile society).
- Surrender through a "pet amnesty" program and check with local shelters or rescues to see if they accept the species.
- Seal aquarium/terrarium plants in plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash.