Monitoring of Lakes & Ponds
Surface Water Quality Monitoring
Dakota County's Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP) program utilizes volunteer community scientists to gather data about wetlands. Visit the WHEP website to see wetland monitoring reports and to learn how you can become part of the Burnsville WHEP team.
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 data such as water clarity and temperature. To see the CAMP lake water quality reports, please visit the CAMP website.
For a summary of lake clarity readings and recent projects, read the Surface Water Quality Update (PDF).
Sign Up Today for 2022 Volunteer Opportunities
Both the wetland and lake monitoring programs (described above) are currently recruiting volunteers for the 2022 season. Inquiries can be directed to natural resources staff - firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-895-4518. All are welcome to join, with a few restrictions for younger ages.
Community Science volunteers are important for monitoring the water quality of some lakes, ponds and wetlands. The data they gather help inform water quality management and improvement projects. Thank you to our dedicated volunteers!
Click on the links below to read lake assessments and reports.
- Alimagnet Lake Management Plan (PDF)
- Crystal & Keller Lakes: Use Attainability Analysis (2003)
- Keller Lake: Updated Use Attainability Analysis (2020)
- Earley Lake: Use Attainability Analysis (PDF)
- Twin Lakes: Use Attainability Analysis (PDF)
- Wood Pond: Use Attainability Analysis
- Surface Water Quality Update Newsletter (PDF)
For the Natural Resources, Water Resources and other management plans, see Management Plans.
Ponds with a Purpose
Storm drains carry rain and snowmelt runoff to neighborhood ponds. The primary purpose of many ponds in Burnsville is to collect stormwater runoff (rain and snow melt) and reduce the risk of flooding.
Have you ever watched water run down the street when it rains? This water is headed into a storm drain, which carries the rainwater runoff (and snowmelt), directly into your neighborhood pond or lake. The water is not treated or cleaned, so anything that washes into a storm drain ends up in ponds and lakes. "Anything" can include cigarette butts, dog waste, lawn fertilizer, grass clippings, leaves, and salt de-icer.
Why is rainwater collected by storm drains? Storm drains, along with many of the City's nearly 300 ponds and lakes, are part of the storm water management system. This system provides two essential services:
- Flood Reduction: Hard surfaces such as roofs, driveways, sidewalks and roads create a lot of rainwater runoff. To reduce the risk of flooding, this water is collected by storm drains along our streets and diverted into nearby storm water ponds.
- Water Quality Protection: Storm water ponds help protect water quality by holding rainwater runoff, which allows sediment and other pollution to settle out before the water is discharged into nearby lakes and rivers.
Learn more about stormwater management.
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.