Surface Water Management

Golden Valley's water resources include Bassett Creek, recreational lakes, ponds, and wetlands. The City is proactive in managing its water resources, following goals and policies designed to enhance and maintain the quality of surface and ground water. These efforts reflect the value the community places on natural resources.

Surface Water Management Issues

Living In a Watershed

A watershed is an area where storm water runoff goes to the same place. No matter where you live, you are in a watershed. In Golden Valley, nearly all the water runoff drains into Bassett Creek. The Bassett Creek Watershed is one of 46 major watersheds in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

To picture a watershed, think of the entire surface area of Golden Valley as the top of a funnel. All the water that falls onto the surface of Golden Valley, through precipitation or intentionally through activities like lawn watering, is entering the top of that funnel. Water running down the funnel moves over pavement, streets, roof tops, and through private and public lawns. The water may go through lakes, ponds, streams, underground pipes connected to storm drains, or seep through the soil and travel underground. On its way down the funnel, the water collects anything stuck to the sides of the funnel--chemicals, leaves, fertilizers, grass clippings, etc. No matter how diverse its course, almost all water that enters the top of the funnel--the surface of Golden Valley--exits, with everything it has picked up, into Bassett Creek.

Managing a Watershed

As Golden Valley developed, more paved surfaces directed water to Bassett Creek and flood control became an issue. In 1969, Golden Valley joined Plymouth, Medicine Lake, Robbinsdale, Crystal, New Hope, Minnetonka, St Louis Park, and Minneapolis to form the Bassett Creek Flood Control Commission. Its primary focus was to control flooding of Bassett Creek.

As environmental awareness grew over the years, water quality became an issue. In 1982, the State passed the Metropolitan Surface Water Management Act, which required that a water management organization be established for each watershed in the metropolitan area. In response, the Bassett Creek Flood Control Commission became the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC). Since its inception in 1984, the BCWMC has maintained two primary concerns: flooding control and water quality management. It also regulates the surface water management plans of its nine member cities.

Surface Water Management Techniques