City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Yard and Garden Care

Keeping your yard and garden beautiful and our waterways clean

What is urban runoff and storm water pollution, and what is the difference between them? 

Urban runoff is the water that flows off our yards, streets, parking lots, and driveways into the storm drains and eventually into our creeks, lakes, and wetlands.  Whether it is from sprinkler over spray, car washing or hosing down the driveway, everyone is a potential contributor to urban runoff. 

Whereas storm water pollution occurs during precipitation events, with runoff picking up pollutants from our streets and gutters that flows directly into our local waterways.

In either case, whether by rain or by everyday activities, the water flows into the storm drains picking up pollutants like soil, motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers, pet wastes and litter.  All these contaminates end up in our waterways. 

Many people mistakenly think that the water entering our storm drains is cleaned and treated in some way. The storm drain system and sewer system are separate.   Our storm drain system channels water, untreated, directly into our creeks, lakes, and wetlands.  Prevent storm water pollution and urban runoff.
City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071