Fridley's Watersheds

Do you know where Fridley's stormwater goes? If rain falls on pervious surfaces (grass, landscaping, trees) it can infiltrate back into the ground, but rain that falls on impervious surfaces (concrete, asphalt, roofs) runs off into the stormwsewer system. Water that enters the stormsewer system doesn't just disappear- it is conveyed by pipe to a downstream body of water.

Most of the stormwater runoff in Fridley eventually reaches the Mississippi River, but the path it takes depends on the watershed. A watershed is all the land that drains to a particular body of water. The City of Fridley is comprised of three watersheds that are overseen by three different organizations: the Coon Creek Watershed, the Rice Creek Watershed, and the Mississippi Watershed. Find out what watershed you are in by searching the Fridley Neighborhood Map

Protecting Fridley's Waters

Once water enters the stormsewer system, it is not treated before being discharged into our waterbodies. Therefore, it's important to make sure that water is as clean as possible before it goes down the stormdrain. As a property owner, please do your part to protect our waters:

Kids cleaning drainKeep the drains clear

Leaves and grass clippings add phosphorus to our waters and can block drains, leading to flooding. Make sure you sweep up any debris from your lawn that enters the street.You can now even adopt your own drain to keep it clear of pollutants. Learn more at

Keep the water clean

Fertilizers, salt, and pet waste are three common pollutants that wash off yards into storm drains and pollute our waters. If you choose to fertilize, do it in the fall when it will be more effective and sweep up excess fertilizer. Learn how to salt smartly And always remember to scoop the poop after your pet. If you wouldn't want to swim in it, don't let it enter the drain.

Keep your lawn healthy

There are plenty of ways to reduce your lawn's impact on our water resources. Consider switching your lawn to native plants, a pollinator garden, or turf alternatives. If you don't want to make the switch, keep your grass to three inches or higher to promote a healthier root system and reduce weeds.

Rain Gardens

RadcliffeOne of the best ways that you can improve water quality in Fridley is to let stormwater return into the ground naturally rather than runoff into the stormsewer. Rain gardens are planted basins that are designed to treat and infiltrate water. Rain gardens can also add beautiful landscaping to your yard. Grant funding may be available to install a rain garden on your property. Call 763-572-3594 or email Rachel Workin to learn more. 

Stormwater Pollution Prevention

The City of Fridley's stormwater system is a small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permitted through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) outlines the activities that the City undertakes as part of this permit. These activities are intended to promote maintenance of water quality to the waters that the City of Fridley's stormwater system discharges to.

Our MS4 permit application details the steps and plans we have in regards to stormwater management including, but not limited to, public education and involvement. In an effort to give you access to our stormwater permitting requirements in a way that is convenient to you and to comply with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency requirements, we have placed it online. Read our MS4 Permit  Application for coverage under the 2020 MS4 General Permit.

If you have any questions, concerns or would like to make comments on these plans or this process, please email Rachel Workin, Environmental Planner, or call 763-572-3594.

Additional Resources

More information on stormwater can be found at the following links:

MWMO Stormwater 101
Water Friendly Planting
MPCA Stormwater Web Site
EPA Stormwater Web Site