Engineering and Road Projects
The City of Buffalo engineering department oversees several projects throughout the year, to ensure all standards and engineering criteria are met. These projects include improvements to our streets, storm sewer, sanitary sewer and water main. The engineering department also provides assistance to the City Council, City staff, and general public.
Lake & Wetland Information
Why Wetlands Matter Before European settlement, studies estimate Minnesota had over 20 million acres of wetland. Today that number has been cut in half. Wetlands are important ecosystems. They hold water, providing for natural water quality improvements by filtering nutrients and sediment that might otherwise pollute and clog waterways. They provide flood protection and shoreline erosion control. Wetlands are also home to many species of fish and wildlife.
Wetlands Regulation Most wetlands in Minnesota are protected by State and/or Federal law, and in some cases by local ordinances. Minnesota’s primary wetland protection law is the Wetland Conservation Act. The law is implemented by local governments, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources provides assistance and oversight, and the Department of Natural Resources provides enforcement.
- The State law applies to all wetlands, including those on private property, to achieve “no net loss” of wetlands.
- In general, wetland protection laws regulate activities in or near wetlands that can negatively affect the wetland through draining, filling, or excavating.
- There are some exemptions contained within State law for certain activities.
What You Should Know It can be very difficult to identify wetlands and wetland regulations can be quite complex. Some examples of projects that could potentially affect wetlands include:
- Filling a low area of a residential lot for a building or lawn
- Tiling wet areas of cultivated fields
- Digging a pond in a low area
- Cleaning out an old ditch or improving an existing ditch
- Adding fill for a crossing of a stream or wet swale
Requirements If there is the potential for your project to impact a wetland, before you start it is important to contact your local WCA regulatory authority to:
- Find out if the land you intend to alter is a wetland. Remember, an area can be a wetland even if it does not appear wet on the surface.
- Determine if the proposed activity has impacts to a wetland area.
- Assure that any impact to wetlands can be avoided if possible, and properly replaced if not.
If you don’t know where to start, your local Soil and Water Conservation District can help you determine which agency is your local contact.
Cooperation is a key component of successful conservation. Local, state, and federal wetland regulatory agencies work in partnership with landowners to help them achieve the best possible results on their private land.
more information about wetlands in Minnesota, see the Board of Water and Soil Resources website at http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/wetlands/index.html, or the Department of Natural Resources website at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/wetlands/index.html.
Information about Buffalo Lake, Lake Pulaski and other MN lakes can be found at:
Information about Blue-Green Algae Blooms in Buffalo Lake
Protecting the water quality in our lakes, rivers and streams is very important in efforts to maintain and enhance our quality of life. There are a number of things that we as a community can do to protect these waters and at the same time beautify our personal and community properties.
One example, as seen in the picture above, are called buffer strips. They are a great way to naturally slow down rainwater runoff, trap contaminants and stabilize shorelines when developed alongside lakes, ponds, wetlands, rivers and streams. See below for even more information.
The City of Buffalo has approximately 144 storm ponds located throughout the City. Storm ponds play a vital role in removing unwanted sediment, debris, and other pollutants from entering into our local lakes and water ways. Storm ponds or retention ponds also help recharge our local groundwater supply. Almost all of City storm ponds are located within designated drainage and utility easements and are surrounded by private property. Building of structures such sheds, fences, retaining walls may be at risk do to the drainage and utility easement and its function. These structures may block surface water drainage from running its course to the storm pond. Water levels in the storm ponds are designed to bounce up with a significant rain and recede back to normal water levels shortly after the rain event. Outlets and inlets can at times get plugged or obstructed with debris and prevent flow so do not hesitate to call the City if you suspect this. The City of Buffalo inspects and performs maintenance on the ponds. Mowing of vegetation and clearing of trees that are obstructing storm inlets or outlets, and removal of built up sediment in the ponds is needed to keep the storm ponds functioning as intended. Any questions regarding storm ponds can be directed to the City of Buffalo Engineering Technician at (763) 684-5424. Wetland Mitigation Ponds are designated wetlands. These are wetlands that were made by man do to impacts to local wetlands from developments and other building structures. Filling of wetlands is prohibited but if done by permit, the contractor must replace the wetland impacts at a 2:1 ratio or sometimes 4:1 if filled without a permit. Some people confuse Storm ponds with mitigation ponds. Storm ponds are not intended to be wetlands as a mitigation pond is even though they may develop to look a lot like a wetland in the future.
Total Corporate Limit area is approximately 9.0 sq miles. This area does not include any portion of Buffalo Lake but does include all of Lake Pulaski.
REMINDER: There shall be NO dumping of organic materials such as grass clippings, leaves, brush or any other materials in or around the drainage easements and buffer areas of stormponds and wetland mitigation areas. These materials can be taken free of charge for city residents to the city compost facility.