Marshy water with water grasses.

Water Resources

Some of Bloomington's most valuable resources are its lakes, wetlands, Nine Mile Creek and the Minnesota River. This delicately-balanced, natural system changes constantly and needs our help to remain healthy.

A Note About Spring Flooding Potential

The recent warm temperatures may have melted much of the snow, but there is still a strong potential for localized spring flooding.  There are two main reasons for this.  The first is last year’s record precipitation that left soils oversaturated before freeze-up.  The second is the frost depth and, although that is about normal, frozen ground does not absorb water – even if there was capacity in the ground.  

What can you do?

Be prepared: move valuables out of low areas in your house and test your sump pump
Stay informed: 2020 Spring Flooding Outlook
Consider flood insurance (note the 30-day waiting period): MN DNR information regarding Flood Insurance

The graphic below shows tips that you can take to minimize the localized flooding risk to your home.
If the risk of localized flooding becomes more likely, sand and bags will be provided for Bloomington residents at the Western Maintenance Facility, 10500 Hampshire Ave S.

Landscaping funds available for water quality

If you would like to improve water quality, grants may be available for certain types of landscaping projects at the links listed below. A map of the Watershed Districts within the City of Bloomington is provided below this section for your reference.

Lower Minnesota River Watershed District: 2020 application deadline is Wednesday, April 15 or until available funds are used.
Nine Mile Creek Watershed District: 2020 application deadline is Friday, March 20 by 4:00 PM.
Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District: Deadlines vary.

Additional opportunities for landscape funding include the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Lawn to Legumes program for fall 2020 projects. Additional information can be found on their website:
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Should you have questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Division.

Which watershed district do I live in?


Ways to Protect Our Waters

You can be an active force in safeguarding and enhancing the quality of our water resources.

PDF icon Click Here for a handout from Nine Mile Creek Watershed District for more information about deicers and how to choose one.

Water Resources Related Projects

Management Plans

Human influences have changed the water resources system rapidly and these changes have impacted the larger ecosystem. The following federally-mandated plans and programs were developed to protect these valuable resources.

Flood Insurance Information

Stormwater Awareness

Videos: Take care of our water

Salt Control

Many of our local waters have unhealthy levels of salt from winter de-icing. The following video was produced in the northwest corner of the metro, but is relevant here in Bloomington too. Wise use of salt can help the environment and save money.

Getting to know shallow lakes

From our friends as Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, learn about the ecology of shallow lakes, and why it is important for residents and lake managers to set realistic expectations for recreation, water quality and aquatic plant abundance.

Illicit discharges

A 30-second video explaining stormwater illicit discharge, the damage illicit discharges can do, how to recognize them, and what citizens can to do to help eliminate them.

Ways to be water wise