Monitoring of Lakes & Ponds

Volunteer to Track Water Quality

Volunteer with us! Community Science volunteers collect data on certain lakes, ponds and wetlands, which helps inform City projects that will manage or improve water quality. All are welcome to volunteer, with a few restrictions for younger ages. For more information on the following programs, contact Natural Resources staff - or 952-895-4543.

Lake Monitoring

Volunteers in the Metropolitan Council's Citizen-Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP) monitor eight Burnsville lakes, including Crystal, Keller, Lac Lavon, Alimagnet, Sunset Pond, South Twin, Earley and Wood Pond. They collect water samples and information like water clarity and temperature. Reports and more information about the program are found at the CAMP website.

For a summary of lake clarity readings and recent projects, read the Surface Water Quality Update (PDF).

Wetland Monitoring

Dakota County's Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP) is made up of volunteers who visit local wetlands to gather data about the plants and critters that live there. Volunteers work as a group and are trained on all the steps. Visit the WHEP website to learn how you can become part of the Burnsville WHEP team.

volunteer monitoring Burnsville wetland

Ponds with a Purpose

Have you ever wondered where all the rain and snowmelt runoff goes? 

Storm drains (which are located across the city and probably on your very own street!) carry this water into the nearest neighborhood stormwater pond, pond or lake. The water is not treated or cleaned, so anything that washes into a storm drain ends up in ponds or lakes. "Anything" can included pollutants like trash, dog waste, lawn fertilizer, grass clippings and salt de-icer. 

Storm drains, and the City's nearly 300 ponds and lakes they lead to, are really important for protecting water quality and reducing floods (also called "stormwater management"). 

  • Flood Reduction: Hard surfaces such as roofs, driveways, sidewalks and roads create a lot of rainwater runoff. When runoff water goes into a storm drain along a street, it goes into a nearby stormwater pond and reduces the risk of flooding. 
  • Water Quality Protection: Stormwater ponds connect to Burnsville's lakes and nearby rivers. When runoff enters a storm water pond, pollution can sink to the bottom. This helps clean the water so that less pollution travels to the next lake or river in the system.  
storm drain

Pond Inspections

The City performs inspections of stormwater ponds on about a 5-year cycle to make sure that ponds function as designed. Blockages of stormpipe inlets and outlets can be reported to the Streets Department at 952-895-4550.

The City does not manage ponds for aesthetic purposes. Property owners with ponds may choose to enhance ponds for aesthetics or recreation purposes if allowed by City or State laws.