Most of the city's stormwater is directly discharged to the Mississippi River, Sauk River or wetlands; some runoff is routed through treatment processes including stormwater ponds. The city's stormwater system contains approximately:
100 infiltration treatment practices
150 stormwater treatment ponds
210 miles of pipe
8,000 catch basins
Water quality deterioration has prompted the US-EPA to mandate the City of St. Cloud to comply with Phase II of the Stormwater Management Program. The City of St. Cloud's Stormwater Utility has an important role in maintaining and improving water quality.
The city is responsible to maintain a Minnesota General National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s).
To comply with the NPDES Permit, the City is enforcing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP). The city's SWPPP includes best management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce negative impacts on water quality to the maximum extent possible. The SWPPP includes 6 control measures:
Public Education and Outreach
Public Participation and Involvement
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Construction Site Runoff Controls
Post-Construction Stormwater Management
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations