Through the Township's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, White Bear Township is required to develop, implement, and enforce a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP is designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP), to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Rain and melting snow act like a water hose, washing the landscape free of loose dirt and grime. While a good washing helps spruce up our communities after a long winter or summer dry spell, it does little for the health of our lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands. That is because materials washed off the hard surfaces in our town eventually end up in the water, where they can become harmful pollutants.
Pollution caused by rain and snow melt washing the landscape goes by several names. It is called stormwater pollution because it is caused by storms. It is called runoff pollution because it is carried by rain and snow melt runoff, and non-point source water pollution, a technical name meaning it is different than point source water pollution. Point source water pollution is the type of water pollution that comes from an industrial or wastewater discharge pipe — a definite point, or location, on the landscape.
Controlling stormwater pollution is a challenge because sources of pollution come from many locations across the landscape and is associated with weather — something we cannot control. Controlling stormwater pollution requires everyone’s action, from the homeowner to the business owner, from the road builder to the street sweeper.
The main stormwater pollutants harming Minnesota’s water are: