Storm Water & Pollution Prevention

Rain and snow that doesn’t soak into the ground flows along the land surface into ditches, rivers, ponds and lakes or is channeled into storm sewer pipes carrying the water away.  The two main concerns with storm water is flooding and water pollution.  Land development changes our natural environment.  Roofs, roads and parking lots reduce the area that water can enter the soils and groundwater as it increases the amount of water that flows into ditches, rivers and low-lying areas that are susceptible to flooding.

Water that runs off buildings, roads and parking lots typically contain pollutants that reduce the quality of water in our rivers and lakes.  This non-point source pollution is addressed by the many programs of Anoka County agencies, communities and watershed management organizations with the support and cooperation of our residents and businesses.


The surest way to improve water quality is to better manage stormwater. Unmanaged stormwater can have serious consequences on the quality of lakes, streams and rivers we enjoy. Stormwater often contains oil, chemicals, excess phosphorous, toxic metals, litter, and disease-causing organisms. In addition, stormwater frequently overwhelms streams and rivers, scours streambanks and river bottoms and hurts or eliminates fish and other aquatic organisms.

To better manage stormwater, Anoka County agencies, communities, and businesses have implemented a stormwater pollution prevention program in partnership the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that administers the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.

What can YOU do to prevent pollution:

  • Dispose of used oil, antifreeze, paints and other household chemicals properly—not in storm sewers or drains.  Drop off your household hazardous wastes at the Anoka County Household Hazardous Waste facility in Blaine.
  • Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves and debris out of street gutters and storm drains—these outlets drain directly to lake, streams, rivers and wetlands.  Bring your leaves and grass clippings to the Anoka County Compost Sites or learn how you can compost at home. Contact Anoka County Integrated Waste Management for more information.
  • Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions.
  • Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease and antifreeze. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local streams and lakes.
  • Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
  • Follow your community’s construction erosion and sediment ordinance standards.
  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped according to your community’s recommendations (at a minimum every three years).
  • Purchase household detergents and cleaners that are low in phosphorous to reduce the amount of nutrients discharged into our lakes and streams.

NON-POINT SOURCE POLLUTION FACT SHEETS (from the Anoka County Highway Dept).   See how you can make a difference in Anoka County with the the fact sheets below: 

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