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National Pollutant Discharge & Elimination System (NPDES)

Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. Authorized by the Clean Water Act in 1972, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches.

Industrial, municipal, and other facilities like colleges or hospital campuses, must obtain NPDES permits if their non-point discharges (stormwater runoff) go directly to surface waters. In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered by authorized states.

Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our Nation’s water quality. (excerpted from US EPA webpage)

In Minnesota, the state Pollution Control Agency administers the NPDES permit. Coon Creek Watershed District is  required to comply with the state Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, MS4 permit because our ditch system serves as a stormwater conveyance system.

Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an individual NPDES permit.

Our NPDES permit was officially renewed on August 6, 2021 and runs through November 15, 2025.

MN Stormwater Manual – wiki format