Storm Water & Erosion Control

Stormwater Runoff Overview:

The City of Austin is situated in the Upper Cedar River watershed, and is surrounded by Dobbins Creek, Turtle Creek, and the Cedar River. On average our city receives 34 inches of precipitation, and 41 inches of snowfall each year. During a rain event or snowmelt water falls onto impervious surfaces such as buildings, roads, and parking lots. Impervious surfaces do not allow water to be absorbed, and thus water is diverted into storm drains.

When water enters a storm drain it does not go to the wastewater treatment plant to be treated, it is directly sent into our rivers, lakes, and streams. As water travels across imperious surfaces it picks up debris, chemicals and dirt. These types of pollutants can have major impacts on our waterbodies surrounding Austin. When these pollutants enter a waterbody they can be detrimental to aquatic life, and human health. Your actions in and around our community have a great impact on the overall water quality of our surface water.  Remember we only want rain down our drains!

As the City of Austin continues to grow and prosper it is vital to keep our waterbodies clean. To achieve this goal remember to clean up after yourself to prevent pollutants from entering our waterbodies. By doing so you will allow all community members to enjoy our pristine waterways.

      • The City of Austin adopted a Storm Water Utility in 2003
      • All property owners in the City of ‘ are billed for storm water. This
        includes all churches, schools, businesses and homeowners. Storm water
        utility fees are based on the amount of run-off from the property. The
        more run-off, the greater the impact on surface waters.
      • Storm water utility fees will be used on the following programs:
        • Surface water management practices and ordinance implementation and enforcement
        • Detention basin and storm sewer construction
        • In place drainage system maintenance and reconstruction
        • Sediment basin maintenance
        • Improvements to correct localized drainage problems
        • Public information

Storm Water Fees as of July 1, 2012

Description Price
Single-Family Residential $4.00/parcel/month
Twin Homes/Duplex $4.00/unit/month
Manufactured Home $2.00/unit/month
Apartment $1.01/unit/month
Recreational Property $1.01/acre/month
Institution $18.00/acre/month
Commercial $24.00/acre/month


The storm water utility fee will be billed on your monthly utility bill and is identified as a specific line item. The monthly fee will not apply to undeveloped land, agricultural land without a residence, parks, gravel pits, railroads or City owned property. Credits will be provided to commercial property for privately owned and maintained detention ponds.

Additional information is available at the City Engineer’s office at 507-437-9950

The City of Austin prohibits all non-storm water discharges into the storm water system. These
prohibited discharges can be through illicit connections or illegal dumping. A range of potentially
polluting activities would include construction projects, hazardous material handling, gas and service
station operations, used oil, and pesticide disposal.
The City of Austin has developed a Detection and Elimination Plan that includes the following:

  • Respond to complaints or information relating to potential illicit discharges and illegal dumping
  • Inspection program of the City storm sewer system
  • Inspection of storm sewer outfalls
  • Evaluation of available data on local receiving streams

To report suspected illicit discharges, contact the City Engineering Department at 507-437-9950.


The City of Austin requests that property owners consider the impacts of grass clippings on the street and other paved areas. Grass clippings have the following impacts on our streams and lakes if they are allowed to enter the City storm sewer system.
Keep Grass Clippings Off-Street and Other Paved Areas

  • Grass clippings contain phosphorus, the nutrient that turns lakes green with algae
  • Grass clippings from actively growing lawns have 4 to 5 times more phosphorus
    content than fallen autumn tree leaves
  • One bushel of fresh grass clippings can contain 0.1 lbs of phosphorus – enough to
    produce 30 to 50 pounds of algae growth if it finds its way to a lake or river
  • When mowing, grass clippings should be directed away from the street, driveways,
    sidewalks, or other paved areas. Curbside storm sewers can transport grass
    clippings (along with other street debris and dirt) to near-by lakes, rivers and
  • Grass clippings blown on the street, driveways, sidewalks or other paved areas
    during mowing should be swept up and returned to the lawn or composted

If you have any questions, please contact the City Engineer’s Office at 507-437-9950

Important Links

Newly adopted stormwater ordinance

Cedar River Watershed District
Turtle Creek Watershed District
Mower County SWCD
MN Legacy

The city of Austin conducts a annual storm water pollution prevention plan meeting that is held and publisized for each spring.