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Rochester, MN  55904

Phone:  507-328-2440

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Stormwater Permits, Plans, Fees, & Ordinances

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Urbanized areas are associated with activities that contribute pollutants to stormwater runoff, such as application of anti/deicing compounds, vehicle fueling, spills, landscaping and lawn maintenance, and application of pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, urbanized areas are characterized by large amounts of impervious surfaces, such as streets, driveways, roof tops, parking lots and sidewalks. Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces travels faster and in larger quantities, which results in damage to rivers, streams and wetlands; destruction of aquatic habitats; and elevated pollutant levels reaching surface waters. Impervious surfaces also inhibit infiltration and subsequent groundwater recharge. Local public entities that own or operate a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in urbanized areas play a key role in preventing or reducing the negative impacts stormwater runoff may have on Minnesota’s valuable water resources. Thus, the City of Rochester is required by law to manage stormwater runoff in order to restore and protect surface waters.

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Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4 Permit)

The MS4 General Permit is designed to reduce the amount of sediment and pollution that enters surface and ground water from storm sewer systems to the maximum extent practicable. Stormwater discharges associated with MS4s are subject to regulation under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System. Through the MS4 General Permit, the City of Rochester is required to develop a stormwater pollution prevention program (SWPPP) that incorporates best management practices (BMPs) applicable to our MS4.

A municipal separate storm sewer system is a conveyance or system of conveyances (roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, storm drains, etc.) that is also:

  • owned or operated by a public entity (which can include cities, townships, counties, military bases, hospitals, prison complexes, highway departments, universities, etc.) having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, stormwater, or other wastes, including special districts under State law such as a sewer district, flood control district or drainage districts, or similar entity, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of the Clean Water Act that discharges to waters of the United States;
  • designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;
  • which is not a combined sewer; and
  • which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works.

Federal Level: Environmental Protection Agency

State Level: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Local Level: City of Rochester Stormwater Management


MS4 Permit Re-issuance Update

The City of Rochester will continue to operate under that 2013 MS4 Permit until the new 2019 MS4 Permit is available for application.

Under the 2013 permit, the City must implement the activities outlined in these documents:

Annual Report Presentations

Stormwater Management Plans

Stormwater Management Plans are technical documents that describe stormwater conveyance and water quality treatment needs associated with new development.

1999 Rochester Stormwater Management Plan

1991 Rochester Mayo Run

2003 South Zumbro Capital Improvement Project (Olmsted County)


Quick-links to popular stormwater related ordinances can be found on this page. This is not a complete list of ordinances. Please refer to the official City of Rochester Ordinances for the complete list.