Public Works

Surface Water & Sewers Division
309 2nd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2268

To contact, call 311.

Maintenance and Operations

Stormwater Drainage System

The City of Minneapolis owns and maintains many types of stormwater facilities, including:

An inventory and condition assessment study was completed in 2012 for all Minneapolis storm tunnels. Results of that study produced a storm tunnel rehabilitation program, which makes needed repairs and improvements.

Proper maintenance and operation of the stormwater drainage system minimizes pollutants entering the Mississippi River and the lakes and creeks of Minneapolis. When it rains, streets act as collection channels, making them part of the stormwater drainage system. This system requires maintenance, including:

In 2016 Minneapolis Sewer Operations personnel:

Sanitary Sewer System

Protection of surface waters requires proper maintenance and operation of the sanitary sewer system. Minneapolis streets contain miles and miles of sanitary sewers; the earliest were built around 1870. Many of these brick sewers are still in operation, but some of the older concrete sewers require repair or replacement.

The City has an ongoing rehabilitation program designed to extend the life of these sewers by installing a fiberglass lining, which prevents groundwater contamination from leaky pipes.

Sanitary sewer pipes occasionally get blocked up, which can cause backups into basements. Regular cleaning of storm pipes helps prevent this. Also, Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) inspects and maintains most of the 31 miles of deep sanitary tunnels (also known as interceptors) in Minneapolis. These deep tunnels convey sanitary sewage to the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Garbage, sediment, and other contaminants are deposited on roadways from a number of factors including:

Public and private snow and ice control operations contribute to this problem. City crews apply thousands of tons of sand and salt to roadways every year to help manage snow and ice control. This can be problematic because pollutants can bind to sand particles, disturbing the ecosystem of water bodies, where salt is harmful to both groundwater and surface water. This sand and salt can wash into the Mississippi River and the lakes and creeks of Minneapolis without proper control measures:

Last updated Jan 28, 2019



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