Water / Wastewater Operations
The Water/Wastewater Department maintains water and sanitary sewer utilities. The department operates and maintains the public water supply system including the water treatment facility, hydrants, city wells, and water storage facilities, and installation and maintenance of water meters; and the wastewater collection system include lift stations.
5 Basic ways to Conserve Water
Just five suggestions, but they are the basic elements of a sound, reasonable, and effective water conservation program for you and your family. Don’t let water go to waste. Do your part to use water wisely.
1. Check every faucet in your home for leaks. Just a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day. Fix it and you save almost 6,000 gallons a year.
2. Put a bit of food coloring in each toilet tank. Without flushing, watch for a few minutes to see if the color shows up in the toilet bowl. It’s not uncommon to lose up to 100 gallons a day from one of these otherwise invisible toilet leaks. And that’s more than 30,000 gallons a year.
3. Don’t shower too long or fill the tub too full. Five minutes for showering and five inches in the tub is plenty.
4. Try to use automatic dish and clothes washing machines with full loads only. Even when the machines feature short cycles, you’re being more efficient with your water when there are enough dirty things for a full load.
5. Most importantly, water your lawn and garden with good sense. Do it early in the morning, the earlier the better, not in the midday heat. Avoid windy days. See that water goes where it should, not on sidewalks or driveways. Stick a spade in the ground now and then to see that water is down deep. A good soaking encourages good root systems. But remember this: A single lawn sprinkler spraying five gallons a minute uses 50% more water in just one hour than a combination of 10 toilet flushes, two 5-minute showers, two dishwasher loads and a full load of clothes.
Click here for more information about Home Water Audit.
Click here for more information about looking for Water Leaks.
Click here for more information about hidden water.
It seems like a lost cause to think about water conservation during a drought. The lawns are drying up, the trees are showing stress and it takes all the will-power you can muster to keep from pouring the water to them on a daily basis. The truth is that most of our lawns and plantings are pretty drought tolerant. All you have to do is look at our lawns, after the rains have returned and the lawn mowers are back out, to tell that this is true.
The notion of having lush green lawns even in our typical dry months really isn’t that necessary. If you are like me and have some plantings that are not so drought tolerant, a weekly soaking is necessary to keep them alive. Also prolonged and/or severe drought can even kill grass, so a once or twice weekly watering should be sufficient to keep it from dying off completely even thought it may not be exactly green and lush.
Our typical dry months of July and August are a natural cycle for us. It is natural to see not so green lawns, on the contrary, it is unnatural to see green lush lawns. I always kind of enjoyed the break from lawn mowing myself; it gave me more time to do other things more important like camping and fishing with the family or just enjoying a nice summer day on the patio with a good book and a cool drink.
We saw historically high water production at the treatment facility this summer. Luckily we currently have good capacity since we recently expanded the water plant. We didn’t have to revert to sprinkling bans in Buffalo like a lot of other communities did. As we get closer to design capacity with our current plant, we will most likely see the return of some sort of watering bans until new construction further increases capacity.
New sod and plantings need a lot of water to get established and we have a lot of new construction right now. The rest of us can do our part for conservation by limiting our water to only what is needed to maintain the life of the plant. Brown is a good color too.
Recent studies in other cities have indicated that water conservation is not high on the priority list when the apartment building owner is paying the bill. I think we all know it is not likely going to result in a cut in the monthly rent if we are diligent in water conservation, but there are some interesting facts and food for thought that you ought to know.
It was found that the average water consumption was 100 gallons per day per person when the building owner was paying the bill. That rate dropped to 55 to 60 gallons per day per person when the residents had their own meters and were paying the bill. A further reduction in water savings was realized when the building was retrofitted with new water saving toilets and showerheads. The average daily usage was further reduced to 30 gallons per day per person.
Building owners can do the retrofit to their units and save themselves 20 to 40 percent on their water bills. The savings will more than pay for the retrofit. Research should be done to make sure that the units that are used actually do the job in one flush. There are units out there that take 2 even 3 flushes to do the job eliminating any potential water savings.
It is in everyone’s best interest to conserve water. World leaders have been saying that water (or rather the lack of water) related issues would probably be one of the most important issues of the 21st century. Wars will be fought over water issues.
Believe it or not the State of Minnesota has declared our state as a water shortage state. We are using more water out of our aquifers then can be replenished. I was at a recent meeting where a state official said that this would be very apparent when we have another drought like we did back in 1988 and 1989.
Click here to view how SAC Fees are calculated.
Click here to view the Water & Wastewater Availability Charge Report (2004).
Click here to view the Water Treatment Facility Virtual Tour.
Click here to view the Wastewater Treatment Facility Virtual Tour.
Quality services are important to our customers and citizens. At Buffalo Municipal Utilities, we are committed to providing reliable and high quality utility services while protecting the environment and waterways that are assets to our community.
We consistently test, monitor, and report on the quality of our water, electricity and wastewater discharge. The safety of our citizens and the protection of the environment is important to all of us.
- Electric Reliability Report
- 2005 NERC Report
- Approved Reliability Standard
- Emergency Preparedness Plan
Click here to view the Utility Services & Billing Rates.
We have nearly 30 parks in Buffalo, miles of walking , a skate park, the Parkshore Pavilion, Concerts in the Park and more. For more information, please visit the City of Buffalo’s website.
All recreational programming in the City of Buffalo is coordinated through Buffalo’s Community Education. Playing field use is also scheduled through the Recreation Coordinator, Todd Lunning. For more information regarding any youth or adult activities, please contact Todd at (763) 682-8429, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Community Education web page at www.buffalok12.mn.us.
The city does not require a business license. However, when deciding on the location for your business, be sure the zoning allows for the use in the district it will be located. Check out our zoning maps and City Code online.
If your business will be run out of your home, a business license is not required for that either. However, please contact the City Center at (763) 682-1181 with the type of business and the address. The City allows home businesses; however, there may be zoning issues as well as a Home Occupation Permit required.
Additionally, in some cases a home business requires review through the Buffalo Planning Commission.
We have park shelters in the large parks that can be reserved for picnics, reunions, weddings, parties, etc. We also reserve the Bandshell in Sturges Park for events such as performances, weddings, church events, etc. Please contact the City Center at (763) 682-1181 to see if the desired date is available and to obtain the reservation form.
Playing fields, such as football, soccer, and ball fields are reserved by Todd Lunning, Recreation Coordinator for Buffalo/Hanover/Montrose Community Education. (763) 682-8429, email@example.com.
The Skate Park is a recreational facility that consists of an area for in-line skating and skateboarding. There is a half-pipe, ramps, and other obstacles for the enjoyment of extreme skaters. (Sorry, scooters and bikes are not permitted in the Skate Park.)
The Skate Park is free of charge. All ages are welcome. While we do not require safety equipment, we highly recommend skaters wear protection: Helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. This park area is not supervised.
The Skate Park is located in beautiful Sturges Park, in the heart of Buffalo. You may access the park off Park View Lane from Montrose Blvd. The skate park opens in April and closes in October. Hours are approximately 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Click here for more information about the Skate Park.
Wright County Sheriff’s Office Court Holding Division handles fingerprints for the public. This is located at 10 2nd St NW in the Courthouse building. The number to call is 763-684-2384. You can get your fingerprints taken Monday-Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm and the cost is $5 for Wright County residents.
Call Wright County Government Center general phone number 763-682-3900. The receptionist will direct you to the appropriate department.
Wild Marsh Golf Course/The Tavern 763-682-4476.
Huikko’s Bowling & Entertainment Center 763-682-4180.
Buffalo Civic Center 763-682-4132.
Any City Parks. Contact the City Center 763-682-1181.
Buffalo American Legion 763-682-2262.
If the street light is near you and you pay your home electric bill comes from Wright Hennepin, you will need to contact them at (763) 477-3000 and they will send someone out.
If the street light is near you and you pay your home electric bill to the City of Buffalo, please utilize our 24 hour on-line Service Request program. It is located on our website Services tab, Service Request. If you do not have access to the internet, please call the City Center at (763) 682-1181 to report it.
A permit is not needed.
To find out what the rates are for the Civic Center please see the rental agreement.
All complaints related to the Police Department are to be initiated through a Police Department supervisor. Forms for filing a complaint may be obtained during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or by contacting a supervisor from the Buffalo Police Department through the Communications Center at (763) 682-7600, during non-business hours.
All recreational programming in the City of Buffalo is coordinated through Buffalo”s Community Education. Playing field use is also scheduled through the Recreation Coordinator, Todd Lunning. For more information regarding any youth or adult activities, please contact Todd at (763) 682-8429, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Community Education web page.
If you are looking to join a team, take a class, or try an activity, please visit the Community Education web page by clicking here.
If you are interested in exploring Buffalo’s Park system, plant a volunteer flower bed or vegetable garden, rent a boat, ice skate, skate board, or play disc golf, please check out the City of Buffalo’s Parks and Recreation page.
The Buffalo Parkshore Pavilion is located in Sturges Park on the beautiful Buffalo Lake. It is on Highway 25/Central Avenue, near downtown Buffalo. Nestled on the beach of Buffalo Lake, the Pavilion staff will help you rent boats, purchase concession items, or just answer any questions passers-by may have.
The Parkshore Pavilion offers one pontoon boat, three motorized fishing boats, four seater paddle boats, and three canoes available to rent. (Gas, accessories, and life jackets are included with rental) The pavilion also has miscellaneous park games such as bocce ball, basketballs, etc.for rent and use at Sturges Park.
The Pavilion typically opens on the weekend of Minnesota’s Fishing Opener, which is mid-May. It closes in mid-October. When school is in session, the Pavilion is open only on the weekends, from 8:00 a.m. to dusk. When school is out, the pavilion opens on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to dusk, and weekdays from 3:30 p.m. to dusk. The Pavilion closes if weather consists of rain or high winds.
Only the pontoon boat, canoes, and fishing boat can be reserved. The paddle boats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve, simply stop by the Pavilion or call (763) 682-4590 during hours of operation. For more information, please visit the Parkshore Pavilion page on our Parks and Recreation section.
If you’re looking to reserve a shelter at one of our parks, please contact the City Center at (763) 682-1181 to see if the desired date is available and to obtain the reservation form.
To report graffiti, please contact the Police Department at 763-682-5976.
Please contact the City Center at (763) 682-1181 with the type of business and the address. The City allows home businesses; however, there may be zoning issues as well as a Home Occupation Permit required.
Additionally, in some cases a home business requires review through the Buffalo Planning Commission.
There are many ways to be involved in Buffalo’s recreational opportunities. If you are interested in coaching, umpiring, refereeing, or participating in an athletic event or other recreational program, please visit the Community Education web page here. If you are interested in the Buffalo Skate Park, Buffalo Parkshore Pavilion, volunteering, visiting Buffalo’s parks and trails, please visit the City of Buffalo Parks and Recreation page.
Please either call the City or use the Parking Complaint request form to submit a request to the City for investigation. After investigating, the City will take appropriate action to either have the vehicle removed or to ensure the vehicle is in compliance with City Code.
Please click here to obtain a building permit application on-line. You may also stop in at the City Center at 212 Central Avenue to obtain one.
Completed building permit applications and any necessary documentation should be submitted to the City Center.
**Please note that building permits may take 3-5 business days or longer to process. Please plan your project accordingly.**
Yes there are. Click here to see the City Ordinances.
Specifically Chapter 11: Land Use Regulations (Zoning)
Yes. Both dogs and cats need to be licensed as soon as they are ready to be vaccinated. Licenses are issued at the City Center and cost $10.00 every two years. In order to be issued a license, you must bring proof that the pet has had their rabies vaccination.
The ordinance states that a structure can house:
– no more than three (3) animals (of any combination of cats and/or dogs)
Yes, if your property is within the Orderly Annexation boundaries and can be served with City services, including sanitary sewer and water.
Click here to check out the City maps online.
You can help by being involved. You may also visit a City of Buffalo Parks Advisory Committee meeting to get information, give suggestions, or try to make change.
The Buffalo Parks Advisory Committee meets at the City Center on the 4th Monday of every month.
If you are interested in joining, apply to the City of Buffalo to be appointed to the 9-member Advisory Board.
Click here to see a list of the new developments in Buffalo.
All residential streets in the City are swept by a vacuum type street sweeper two times per month.
The Civic Center is located at 1306 County Road 134. Take Highway 55 to County Road 134. The Civic Center is approximately a quarter of a mile on your left.
You may reserve a party room and skate during a scheduled open skating time. The fee is based on the number of skaters.
You also may reserve a block of time for your event only. The fee is determined on what time the event would be held. Please contact the Arena Staff at (763)682-4132.
Please see the Civic Center page.
You may request a copy of available ice time by phone at (763) 682-4132 or by email at email@example.com.
To view a copy of the Ice Schedules please click here.
A drainage problem involving public streets, storm sewer water inlets, storm sewers, or drainage ditches should be reported to the Utilities Maintenance Department at 763-682-1181.
The issue concerning resolution of yard drainage problems is, by all accounts, a civil matter in that problems occur in the rear yard areas rather than the boulevard area of properties; therefore, the issue does not fall under City jurisdiction. However, during times of heavy rainfalls and snowfalls, which cause drainage problems in areas, residents are turning to the City for assistance in resolving rear yard issues.
If the drainage problem is on private property the Engineering Department may give assistance and advice to the property owner on how it could be corrected. The responsibility to do the correction is that of the property owner. For possible assistance from the Engineering Department call 763-682-1181.
Problems with the sanitary sewer system (the system conveying waste water from homes, businesses, and industries) and also the storm sewer system (surface drainage water) should be reported to the Utilities Maintenance Department at 763-682-1001.
Property owners should determine if the problem is with the public system and not the private service from the building to the street. If the problem is only with one fixture (sink or toilet), it is likely that the problem is in the private system and you should contact a plumber. If there is a problem with the entire building or home, you should check with adjacent buildings to see if they are having problems. If more than one building is having problems, then the City water system is the likely cause.
Water main breaks can be reported by dialing 911. They will contact the appropriate maintenance personnel. If it is a suspected leak or minor problem, a citizen can report it directly to the Utilities Maintenance Department at 763-682-1001. The City will investigate the problem and determine if there is a leak in either the public or private service line to the building. If there is a leak in the private service line, the City will notify the property owner to correct the problem. If the leak is in the City system, the City will have it repaired.
If you are the only property that is out of water because of a frozen service line, it is your responsibility to contact a plumber to have the problem corrected. If more than one property is out of water, it may be a problem with the City system and you should contact the Utilities Maintenance Department at 763-682-1001.
If you experience sewer odors, pour water in all floor drains, especially showers, sinks and bathtubs that are not used often. If sewer odor persists, call the Utilities Department at 763-682-1001.
If the electricity goes out:
- Call the City of Buffalo Utility Department to report the problem. The emergency outage number is 682-1001. Keep this number near your phone.
- Stay away from downed power lines. Treat all power lines as though they are energized, and report downed line to the Buffalo Utility Department.
- Use flashlights or battery operated lanterns for additional light.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed to help preserve food; keep ice in your freezer in advance.
- If you must drive, respect all intersections as four-way stops.
- If you have water in your basement as a result of a storm, be alert to the risk of shock. Do not use electric appliances near water–even on a wet floor.
What to do if the power goes out for an extended period of time:
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. Foods will stay frozen for 12 to 48 hours.
- Turn off electric burners and ovens.
- Turn off radios, TVs, VCRs, and computers. If you don’t have reliable surge protectors, unplug these devices before power is restored.
- Dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers may be left on. Appliances will resume their cycles once power is restored.
Preparing for a power outage:
- Install surge protectors for critical electric devices.
- Keep battery-operated flashlights, radios, and alarm clocks handy.
- Have a cellular phone in your house.
- Keep a list that includes City of Buffalo Utility Department’s outage number and other emergency numbers.
Electricity is always present in our lives. But, since we use it constantly, we often take it for granted and overlook the important role it plays.
Throughout our day, we use electricity to power our lights, stereo systems, televisions, digital clocks, and computers. Even at night, when the world seems still, electricity is powering outdoor lights and air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration units in our homes. Electricity is all around us and we have come to rely heavily on it in our society. In order to ensure that supply will be constant in years to come, it is important to use our energy resources efficiently.
Each of us has an effect on our energy future. Once we understand where our electricity comes from, who is responsible for supplying it, and what we can do to use it efficiently, we can make wiser energy choices that will benefit us, our community, and our environment.
There are three types of electric utilities-public, private, and rural electric cooperatives. Each is responsible for providing reliable electric service to homes, businesses, and industries.
Public Power or community owned utilities are owned and operated by public bodies, such as towns, cities, counties, states, or public utility districts. A community-owned utility is governed locally by the city council or special policy board set up by the city or town to oversee the utility. This type of utility distributes electricity at non-for-profit rates as a public service. This is similar to the other public services your city provides such as the police, schools, fire department, or local library.
Private power or investor-owned utilities are owned and operated as private businesses. This means the utility is owned by stockholders and operated to make a profit. Investors from around the country buy stock in these private power companies. The investors select private power company boards of directors.
Rural electric or cooperative utilities are owned and operated by their customers. Similar to community-owned utilities, these cooperatives distribute electricity on a not-for profit basis. However, the cooperative is owned and operated privately by its members who elect their board of directors. Rural electric cooperatives were established around the middle of the century in order to bring electricity to rural areas.
Communities that form their own electric systems soon came to recognize the benefits that are still the strength of public power: not-for-profit rates, local control, and responsiveness to community needs.
Not-for-profit means that your electricity price includes only the costs of producing and delivering power to you. Private power company rates are set to include profits paid to people who hold stock in the company. The result is that, on average in the United States, public power has the lowest rates of the three segments of the electric utility industry.
Click here to learn how Power Grids work.
Click here to view the current Utility Services and Billing Rates.
This has been a long-held myth. The fact is that it is legal to drive without shoes in the State of Minnesota. Keep in mind that laws can vary from state to state.
In Minnesota a parent can withdraw the driving privileges of a sixteen or seventeen year old. While the easiest way for a parent to do this is to take the keys away, this will not ensure that the child could not or would not operate a friend’s vehicle. In order to legally withdraw consent, the parent must complete a form and file it with the Department of Public Safety.
You may obtain a permit to purchase a firearm, through the Buffalo Police Department. If you would like to apply for a permit to purchase, you should visit the Police Department to obtain an application. Please stop in or call us to receive the application materials you will need. If you wish to obtain a permit to carry a firearm, you will need to make your application through the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
The answer is Yes and No. Generally you can park a semi for loading and unloading purposes, but you can’t park a semi in a residential neighborhood. For additional information on this ordinance, you can visit the following link, Truck Parking.
The Buffalo Police Department provides 24-hour service 365 days a year. However, there is not always an officer inside the police department. Our office hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. If you come to the police department after business hours and there is nobody here, you should contact the Wright County Sheriff’s Communication Center at (763) 682-7600. They will dispatch a Buffalo Officer to meet with you.
If you call in a general complaint such as speeding, careless driving, suspicion, etc., it is normally presumed that you do not want to be called back. If you are making a complaint of this nature and you do want to be informed of the outcome or you have information you would like to discuss directly with the officer, you should tell the dispatcher that you want a call from the responding officer. This will ensure that the officer calls you back.
All requests for copies of police reports must be made in writing. A request for information release must be completed and submitted. If it is determined that you are entitled to a copy of the data requested, the data will be collected and prepared for release. There is an administrative fee for the release of data. The fees for data release are as follows:
|General Reports||$0.25 per page|
|Accident Reports||$0.25 per page|
|Photos/Statements||$1.00/disk and $0.25/image|
|Driver’s License||None for Buffalo Residents|
|Special Rate||Occasionally a person will ask for an extensive amount of data that may take a significant amount of time to collect. When these instances occur, we charge a staff-rate of $25.00 per hour to collect this data.|
Items of stolen property are generally considered evidence and are stored in a secure area within the police department. Only certain individuals within the police department are authorized to enter the secure area to obtain the property to return to be returned. Once the case has been completed, these items can usually be returned to the owner. In some cases, property can actually be returned to the owner prior to the criminal case being resolved. To get your property returned, call the police department and ask to speak with the officer assigned to your case. The officer will initiate the paperwork with our Property Technician to make arrangements for the return of your property. An appointment is necessary with the Property Technician in order for property return.
The Buffalo Police Department contracts with Junction Towing (763-682-2033). If your vehicle is not being held as evidence, or for some other reason, you should be able to have it released by contacting the towing company directly. If the towing company tells you that your car is subject to a hold, you will need to contact the police department to obtain a release form. You may come directly to the Buffalo Police Department, or if it is outside of our normal business hours, you can contact Wright County Sheriff’s Communication at 763-682-7600 and request that a Buffalo Police Officer meet you at the police department.
If your vehicle was towed from private property, it is most likely that the police department did not order the impounding. If the police department was not involved in the towing of your vehicle, you will need to deal directly with the towing agency.
Any time that you have information about a crime, you can call and speak to an officer of the Buffalo Police Department. In some cases, you may even be eligible for a cash reward. Unless the crime is in progress or it is an emergency, the best way to contact an officer is to call our office at (763) 682-5976 during regular business hours, or Wright County Sheriff’s Communication at (763) 682-7600.
If you are a witness to a crime, you can always ask to remain a confidential anonymous source. Data privacy laws in Minnesota do allow for the identity of a witness to remain confidential. However, if the case goes to court, it is often necessary for witnesses to testify, and remaining confidential may not be possible.
While it is possible to remain anonymous, it may mean that we are not able to pursue a criminal case due to lack of evidence or other witnesses. If you do wish to remain anonymous, make sure to tell the officer or dispatcher about your request.