Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:
a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices.
b. Rainwater harvesting practices.
c. Green alleys or green parking lots.
d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers.
e. Green roofs / green walls.
f. Tree trenches / tree boxes.
g. Incorporate compost and/or native plants into landscape design.
Clean Water Partnership loan funds at 0% interest are available on an ongoing basis from the MPCA for city installation of, or reloaning to others for, green infrastructure and other types of projects that are called for in TMDLs, WRAPS, and/or local water plans. See also this funding programs page in the Minnesota Stormwater Manual. Note that you can search the Manual by topic (e.g., permeable pavement) to read the latest MN-specific information on topics such as best management practices, design, construction, maintenance and pollutant removal. Note that the MnDOT compost specification 3890 (p. 715) is recommended as a soil amendment for landscape planting and turf establishment purposes. One design practice Eagan requires is that sites adding 10,000 sq. ft. or more of disturbed/graded/compacted soils must assure 5% organic matter remains, typically by adding compost so the soils allow water infiltration.
See U.S. EPA green infrastructure resources, the Green Infrastructure Toolkit (Georgetown Climate Center: 2016), and NOAA Atlas 14, Volume 8, which provides precipitation frequency estimates for Minnesota. These estimates (analyses of the historical frequency of heavy rainfall events) are the most up-to-date and must be used by engineers and others involved in designing and operating grey and green stormwater infrastructure.
Low Impact Development (LID) Barrier Busters fact sheets from the US EPA are intended for local decision makers who are considering adoption of LID techniques but who have concerns. LID includes a variety of practices that mimic or preserve natural drainage processes to manage stormwater.
See, for example, Inver Grove Height's national award-winning low-impact development of Agenta Hills. It aims for zero stormwater discharge and cuts capital and operations/maintenance costs 70% over 30 years compared to a conventional 'pump and pipe' stormwater system. Note also that Maplewood has budgeted rain gardens as part of all street reconstruction work since 1996.
Install, require and/or provide guidelines for raingardens, rain barrels, parking lots (salt use reduction/alternatives, French drains, etc.) or pervious pavement at sites where the practice was not implemented to satisfy a requirement in an NPDES/SDS MS4 and/or Construction Stormwater permit or Industrial Stormwater permit; report that all city staff are developing guidelines that use the updated precipitation data in Atlas 14 or better, future predicted precipitation; note required use of compost as a soil amendment.
Install, require, incentivize and/or provide guidelines for green roofs, cisterns, neighborhood water storage, rainwater harvesting to supplant irrigation with drinking water, and other stormwater reuse. Report storage and reuse of stormwater for golf course/parkland irrigation under best practice action 18.5c.
Have an ongoing retrofit program to reduce pollutant loads and stormwater volume from existing neighborhoods that requires one or more of the stormwater practices in this action; aim for zero stormwater discharge in a development project.
Who's doing it
Golden Valley - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Design guidelines for residents wishing to install a rain garden are available on the City website. The Stormwater Management Ordinance (Section 4.31 of City Code) requires permits for any development activities that will disturb or remove soils and/or vegetation. Projects must meet the standards set by the City and, depending on location, the standards of the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC) or the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Requirements are included for the construction of native buffers and stormwater management facilities. Stormwater control techniques including infiltration, evapotranspiration, reuse/harvesting, conservation design, urban forestry and green roofs are given preference as design options for those seeking a permit.
The lawn maintenance ordinance (Section 10.51) allows residents to fill out a native vegetation permit so they may plant large areas of native vegetation as an alternative to traditional landscaping. Guidelines for reduced salt use during icy months are on the City website and have been printed in winter editions of the newsletter in the past. The Planned Unit Development ordinance includes “Green Roofs” and “Enhanced Stormwater Management” as two out of 20 public amenities that may be included in applications in order to gain approval.
Rain gardens have been planted outside City Hall and buffers have been planted around ponds in Brookview golf course. In 2017, the City and the BCWMC enhanced the treatment of stormwater flowing through Honeywell Pond prior to its discharge into Bassett Creek and installed a stormwater harvesting system that will help irrigate the Sandburg Athletic Complex. Other advanced stormwater management techniques are implemented in smaller street projects as opportunities arise.
City staff uses Atlas 14 precipitation data in the design of public projects and the review of private developments.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
As of 2016, there are 5 rain gardens owned by the City, 1 owned by Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB), 2 owned by Robbinsdale School District and 36 privately owned rain gardens in Golden Valley.
As of 2016, 4 sites in Golden Valley use pervious/permeable pavers (2 private, 2 MPRB). There is 1 green roof in Golden Valley owned by Breck School.
The City of Inver Grove Heights has implemented approximately 60 rain gardens, neighborhood water storage, and rain harvesting for irrigation uses. Implementation
of rain barrels, previous pavement, green roods, cisterns, and stormwater reuse are allowed within the city. Since 2015, the City code requires Atlas 14 precipitation and storm distribution data to be utilized during hydrologic analysis. In all Northwest Area developments, an ongoing retrofit program exists that aims for zero stormwater discharge. The City won the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Grand Award for accomplishing the City's zero runoff development goal in the Northwest Area (2015).
In 1996, Maplewood installed its first rain garden to help manage stormwater. Maplewoods rain garden program includes: rain garden in Maplewoods street reconstruction programs; installing a rain garden of your own; rain gardens for developments and businesses. Although the City does not require rain gardens, the City has implemented guidelines and design standards for resident and commercial development usage of rain garden designs. These rain gardens are also created when there is new construction or renovation of streets within Maplewood. The living Streets program in the city will create rain gardens as well as creating areas of infiltration near sidewalks.
Permeable pavement is also used in areas such as the Maplewood Public Works parking lot, as well is in the Geranium Park parking lot. Permeable pavers were placed in the parking lot of the Maplewood Nature Center.
Link to Stormwater Management Plan:
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Today the city has over 620 home rain gardens and over 60 rain gardens on city land.
Three city parking lots utilize permeable pavement or pavers.
Beginning in 2008 the City of Mounds View undertook a comprehensive Street and Utility Improvement Program (Program) that reconstructed approximately 26 miles (roughly 68%) of existing city streets. As part of this program the city installed numerous infiltration basins (rain gardens) throughout the Program area. The basins allowed for infiltration as well as reduced the amount of stormwater entering the underground system. The city and Rice Creek Watershed District inspect these basins on a regular basis. The city is in the process of developing a citizen education program to assist residents with maintenance and upkeep of these features.
This Surface Water Management Plan for the City of Bloomington has been developed
to meet local watershed management planning requirements of the Metropolitan Surface
Water Management Act (Chapter 103B) and Board of Water and Soil Resources Rules
8410. It has also been developed to be in conformance with the requirements of local
Watershed Management Organizations and Districts, Metropolitan Council requirements,
Hennepin County goals and applicable State and Federal laws. This document and its
referenced literature are intended to provide a comprehensive inventory of pertinent
water resource related information that affects the City and management of those
The City has implemented guidelines for all of the listed practices.
Under the Duluth UDC section 50-41, the definition for "Erosion and sedimentation practice specifications, or practice" makes explicit reference to the MPCA Protecting Water Quality in Urban Areas handbook, which serves as a guideline for design standards for stormwater management. It includes guidelines for many different types of rain gardens and other infiltration methods, as well as grid pavers and green walls, among others. Stormwater management that follows some set of best management practices (the MPCA handbook is highly recommended but not required) is necessary in order to obtain a building permit.
Based on the existence of sandy and gravel soils in Elk River, the city requires infiltration practices when deemed appropriate. These design standards are evaluated case by case given the area and project. The City's Stormwater Coordinator reviews such projects.
The outcome of the whole construction process is a more efficient, safer treatment plant. The subset outcome of the stormwater basin is to eliminate unnecessary overflow, reduce system failure, and keep the facility running smoothly. Hopes are to increase water recycling.
Narrowing of streets/Road diet - Downtown streets were done in 2004. 1st, 2nd, 3rd Ave were done in 2008.
North House paving of the common area is with water permeable pavers with a grid beneath to channel water to retention and infiltration areas, rather than directly into the Lake. The North House Harbor-Side Commons Revitalization Project received a grant from the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program in 2011 to revitalize an important Grand Marais waterfront property and outdoor community resource located on City of Grand Marais property. These improvements: 1) Improved harbor water quality by removing blacktop located adjacent to the harbor 2) Protected water quality by relocating public parking away from the harbor 3) Enhanced the property's public accessibility and aesthetic character, and, 4) Modeled environmental building strategies by utilizing pervious paving systems as well as stormwater treatment techniques.
In a related project, several entities collaborated to build a covered bridge for over a landscaped drainage/ infiltration basin. The bridge was built by high school students as a collaborative effort between Northshore Folk school and the public school. The drainage area slows the infiltrates the flow, retains sediments, from street stormwater runoff. The drainage used to flow largely unimpeded into the lake shore. The swale is vegetated with deep-rooted native plants that provide both storm water mitigation and a visual amenity. The covered bridge connects the walking trail in the campground to the plaza in the Folk School, and then to the public bike/ped trail leading into the downtown and harbor area.
Rain gardens were installed at the city's golf course on Bass Lake Rd at 8130 Bass Lake Rd and on 49th Ave N near Little Acre Park. The 2015 infrastructure project includes a rain garden at Holiday Park at 47th Ave N & Flag Ave N and the option for residents to install rain gardens when the street is reconstructed.
The city constructed a 160,000-gallon underground water storage tank at Northwood Lake in 2016 that collects rainwater and is used to irrigate the nearby ball fields. Recent redevelopment projects with stormwater retention ponds include CVS on Bass Lake Rd, Compass Pointe apartments at 62nd Ave & West Broadway, and the Parkview housing development at 55th Ave N & Winnetka Ave N.
The parking lots planned for the new police station/city hall and Civic Center park include a proposed two-foot rock trench, which would serve as grade for the lots. Stormwater would be treated with a draintile system, filtering it before traveling to the pond northeast of the site.
Improvements along Xylon Avenue in 2015 included the use permeable pavers.
During the planning of a 2 phase street reconstruction project in the Woodpecker Ridge neighborhood, the city decided to pursue a rain garden design for stormwater management vs. traditional curb and gutter stormwater management. Residents were involved in the project planning and implementation process. Volunteers were recruited to help plant the gardens over two days. The rain garden design ended up to cost less than the traditional curb and gutter design. The purpose of the rain gardens installation was to reduce runoff into the nearby Snake River and Cross Lake and improve water quality. The engineering firm that consulted on the project found that sediment run-off decreased as a result of the gardens. This rain garden project is the largest of its kind in greater MN.
The City of St. Cloud has design standards for rain gardens, green roofs, and green parking lots in the Development Code, Appendix F, Permanent Storm Water Design Checklist. These design guidelines were developed in accordance with MPCA's, Minnesota Stormwater Manual.
The City's Development Code requires adequate provision for managing the quantity and quality of storm water runoff. Subdivisions shall meet the adopted water management rules, standards and plan requirements of local watershed districts for
volume control, rate control and water quality.
The design of ponds and other stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) shall conform
to the requirements of the City’s Engineering Standards and to the standards and design
recommendations in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Minnesota Stormwater
Manual (2006 and subsequent revisions) and Minnesota Stormwater Best Management
South St. Paul, in partnership with the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), is offering rebates to residents that install a rain barrel or rain garden for the cost of instillation. This rebate is through the "One Water" Grant Program. Any residents that took part in the Landscaping for Clean Water Workshop and installed a rain garden is eligible for the rain garden rebate. Residents that install a rain barrel did not need to take part in the Landscaping for Clean Water Workshop to be eligible to receive the grant.
Additionally, South St. Paul's Stormwater Runoff Design Standards encourages rain gardens, rain reuse, trees and tree planters and green roofs as a method of storm water volume control.
Chapter 27 of the city code, Environmental Management, states new development should first review the following site design and BMP options before designing the stormwater system:
(1) Preserving natural vegetation.
(2) Preserving and utilizing natural upland swales, depressions and upland storage areas in the post development condition to the degree that they can convey, store, filter, and retain stormwater runoff before discharge. Preservation requires that no grading or other construction activity occurs in these areas.
(3) Eliminating curb and gutter where practicable and using vegetated swales or equivalent.
(4) Minimizing parking facility size.
(5) Using shared parking facilities consistent with zoning requirements.
(6) Installing semi-permeable/permeable or porous paving.
(7) Maximizing open space while incorporating smaller lot sizes to conserve natural areas and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff generated at the site.
(8) Utilizing vegetated areas to filter sheet flow, remove sediment and other pollutants and increase time of concentration.
(9) Disconnecting impervious areas by allowing runoff from small impervious areas to be directed to pervious areas where it can be infiltrated or filtered.
(10) Increasing buffers around streams, steep slopes, and wetlands to protect from flood damage and provide additional water quality treatment.
(11) Installing green roofs.
(12) Using irrigation ponds/systems, cisterns, rain barrels and related BMPs to reuse stormwater runoff.
(13) Planting of trees as a stormwater BMP.
(14) Utilizing a soil amendment/decompaction process after site disturbance.
The city’s design guide includes design standards for infiltration areas/rain gardens. We have also provided guidance and examples for new developments that are interested in stormwater reuse, green roofs and porous pavers by the installation of example projects on city property.
The Shell Rock River Watershed District works with the City of Albert Lea to implement reasonable and necessary improvements to the water-related and other natural resources of the area. Projects include:
• Offering rain barrels for sale (including a $10 cost share for citizens living in Albert Lea), as well as instructions for proper use available on the website, in person, or as flyers available at the office.
• Assisted with installation of 3 rain gardens in Albert Lea (Lakeview, Fountain Lake Park, and at S 1st Ave and W Main St), and plans are underway for a large rain garden in a City lot. Information and guidelines for installing rain gardens is available on the website. Cost share incentives are available for rain gardens as well.
• Cost shares are also available for permeable pavement.
• During reconstruction of Broadway and Main St., tree boxes were installed.
• For all projects completed by the District, native plants are sourced if possible.
Coon Rapids worked in partnership with Anoka Conservation District and Coon Creek Watershed District to install nine curb-cut rain gardens in a residential neighborhood. This area has large amount of runoff that flows into Sand Creek. Rain gardens function as a cost-effective best management practice for this area and also provide an educational opportunity for residents. This city continues to develop these partnerships and serve as a resource to the community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Know the Flow featured a story about the partnership in Coon Rapids highlighting the water quality improvement that resulted from the rain gardens. http://www.knowtheflow.us/2012/12/rain-gardens-are-improving-sand-creek/
Boulevard rain gardens are installed, where appropriate and as requested by residnents, as part of local street reconstruction projects.
The City also has constructed several public rain gardens in parks and rights-of-way where appropriate.
All new construction is required to provide erosion control which is part of the building plan review and comment process.
The City’s stormwater management ordinance allows for the use of rain gardens for stormwater management so long as the appropriate MPCA guidelines are followed and the City approves the plans.
The City installed a 0.25 acre raingarden in 2015 for the stormwater management of a newly built 75,000 sq. ft. City owned facility.
Stormwater Management: In 2010, we installed a large French Drain in our city park to allow for the return of storm water runoff from our parking lot in order return water to the ground as opposed to the prior practice of allowing the runoff water to enter the Missisippi/Prairie River. The design for stormwater runoff and new road construction includes the use of a large french drain which will gather the water and allow it to return to the aquifer.
In another section of the city near Glenwood Ave, we have storm water the drains to the prairie River. We have designed a new system that will infiltrate the water prior to reaching the river.
Green stormwater infrastructure, built a new stormwater system as part of a street reconstruction project that returns water to the ground through an infiltration pond and an infiltration ditch that protects runoff from reaching the river.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The drain worked to perfection 2010 by capturing a huge snow melt and runoff from the parking lot and as a result no water ran to the river. The construction of the storm drain on LaPrairie Ave will be completed in 2015 at the same time the road is reconstructed.
Glenwood Ave storm water constuction will be completed in 2015.
The City partnered with the Crystal Waters Project to install a rain garden at City Hall during the annual Duck Days Event in June 2013. In addition to a community planting, a landscape designer educated community members about how to plant their own rain gardens. Another rain garden was installed during a Plant the Park event on September 22, 2014 at Robinson Park. The day long even included educational components and community members volunteered to plant the entire garden. City staff helped to clear and dig the site and provided mulch.
The City has adopted design standards for rain gardens/infiltration practices through a standard specification included in the City's specification book. The City hosts two design workshops per year with the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District for residents to learn about the installation of rain gardens.
We do not have incentive. But the City is working on guidelines for boulevard plantings and boulevard rain gardens. The rain gardens have to be designed by a Professional Engineer or Landscape Architect.
River Keepers puts on the rain barrel classes – the City uses them for our MS4 Public Education and Outreach program
The City of North St. Paul implemented a rain garden policy and resident guide in October 2012. The rain garden policy outlines the guidelines for installing rain gardens in the city's right of way. The policy provides information to residents who are interested in installing rain gardens the benefits of rain gardens.The policy outlines guidelines as well as provides information on possible cost-share dollars that are provided by the local watershed districts. The policy additionally offers residents a 35% reduction in their storm water fee. To ensure that the rain gardens are functioning properly now and into the future residents have submitted maintenance agreements.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Currently the City has 10 rain gardens in the right of way and 6 properties are participating in the fee reduction.
The City has received multiple calls inquiring about installing rain gardens since the inception of the policy.
City of Northfield started providing incentives for city property owners to enhance stormwater collection and infiltration. The Rain Barrel Rebate program offers residents a $20 credit on their utility bill by installing a rain barrel to capture and reuse stormwater runoff. Rain Garden cost share program offers residents up to $250 credit on their utility bill by installing a rain garden.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Since these programs have been initiated the City of Northfield has given 67 credits for rain barrels and 6 credits for rain gardens.
The Oakdale Environmental Management Commission created technical standards and design examples for residential raingarden installation in the city. These standards included basic information on percolation tests, proper sizing and construction of the garden. There were also examples with plant lists a pollinator-friendly and native prairie gardens. The commission is currently evaluating locations in city parks for a demonstration raingarden location.
When the Royalton School District removed a building to install a parking lot, the City of Royalton specified thathree rain gardens be installed to handle the storm water runoff
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The rain gardens have helped reduce the amount of storm water runoff from the parking lot. The neighbors in the area were concerned about the possible increase in runoff when the parking lot was installed, but the raingardens have taken care of that concern.
The City of Saint Paul's Sustainable Building Policy requires stormwater infiltration. Furthermore, CRWD, RWMWD and MWMO offer grants for these practices. LWMO participates in the Blue Thumb program. The Ramsey Conservation District provides rain garden design assistance to Saint Paul Residents. A pervious/permeable pavement project is also in place at Hamline library. Tracking performance of the permeable pavement is part of the project.
Section 69.319 of the Saint Paul Ordiannce also guides parking lot stormwater landscaping work.
The City's Environmental Quality Committee hosts an annual Green Community Award program which recognizes private property owners for these stormwater infiltration or reuse techniques. This is one way the City promotes best management practices for stormwater.
When the City installs rain gardens, cisterns, or pervious pavement, we follow the Minnesota Stormwater Manual or the Urban Small Sites Manual for specifications.
The city has adopted and implemented incentives for rainwater water harvesting. Citizens are encouraged to purchase rain barrel by providing a rebate. Purchase of one of the qualifying barrels entitles the utility customer to either a $25 rebate on their utility bill or a $10 rebate on the utility bill for the purchase of a rain barrel diverter and parts kit. The main goal of a rain barrel is to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff which enters the storm sewer system and ultimately enters the rivers and streams, thereby reducing pollution and erosion. It is an inexpensive way to conserve water with many economical and environmental benefits.