"The surest way to improve water quality in Minnesota is to better manage storm water." – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Water and leaves swirling into storm drain that will connect to river
  • The City of Red Wing has some of the most beautiful water resources, most of which are considered impaired by the U.S. EPA.
  • There are 78 storm water basins in the City limits.
  • The City of Red Wing has about 60 miles of storm sewer.
  • The City of Red Wing is committed to aggressive stormwater management to promote, preserve, and enhance the natural resources within the City of Red Wing.
  • Any land disturbance greater than one acre is required to submit a stormwater management plan, and any new development or redevelopment creating 1 or more acres of new and/or fully reconstructed impervious surface shall implement a permanent stormwater management facility to infiltrate or retain the first one inch of precipitation over the impervious surface of the site.
Chart detailing impairments of lakes, river/streams, and wetlands due to stormwater

How to Protect Water Quality

  • Buy phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer.
  • Apply fertilizer at the recommended rate. Late summer is the best time. Don't fertilize before a storm. Never apply to frozen ground.
  • Keep soil, leaves, and lawn clippings out of the street.
  • Mow higher. Keeping your grass length to 2 1/2 - 3 inches is healthier for your lawn.
  • Pick up pet waste promptly.
  • Control soil erosion around your house. Soil erosion can be prevented by keeping soil covered with vegetation or mulch.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program

On February 15, 2007, the City of Red Wing embarked on a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act. Working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Red Wing is tasked with restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of Minnesota.

Illicit Discharge Detection

When the weather is dry and a storm drain has measurable flow containing pollutants and/or pathogens, that's known as an illicit discharge. The pollutants can be harmful to citizens and the environment, including surface waters and drinking water sources. When this discharge enters the storm sewer, it goes directly into surface waters without treatment, potentially carrying metals, grease, oil, bacteria, and other toxic substances with it. If you see anything that could be an illicit discharge, please let us know by emailing us

Common sources

  • Runoff from construction sources
  • Concrete washout
  • Illegal dumping of paint, oil, cooking grease, or carpet cleaning solutions
  • Broken sanitary sewer pipes or overflows
  • Improper washing activities, such as washing greasy kitchen equipment or storage barrels in a parking lot

Citizen Input

This webpage is designed to inform residents what the City of Red Wing is doing to prevent stormwater pollution and to solicit input from concerned citizens – all citizens in Red Wing should be concerned about water pollution because Red Wing's storm sewers drain directly to the Mississippi River. Working under the strict guidelines of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Red Wing has agreed to use Best Management Practices to achieve Minimum Control Measures by promising to do six very important things to improve stormwater quality.

  1. Public Education
  2. Public Involvement
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
  4. Construction Site Discharge Controls
  5. Post-Construction Site Discharge Controls
  6. Good Housekeeping & Pollution Prevention
6 minimum control measures