Sewer System Overview
How old is the Minneapolis stormwater and wastewater system and how extensive is it?
Around 1870, the earliest known sewers in the City of Minneapolis were constructed. Today, there are over 830 miles of sanitary sewers, 509 miles of storm drains, 12 miles of deep storm tunnels and 31 miles of sanitary main and interceptor tunnels under Minneapolis streets.
Over 50,000 manholes (18,000 storm & 32,000 sanitary) allow access to the drainage systems for maintenance, and over 28,000 catch basins serve as inlets for stormwater. For more information, see History of Stormwater and Wastewater Drainage Systems.
How much stormwater and wastewater is processed?
Separate storm drains now serve over 95% of the City, handling over 50 square miles of surface runoff. This stormwater runoff flows through a series of pipes and swales to discharge into surface waters such as lakes, rivers and creeks.
Wastewater (sewage) from over 100,000 occupied buildings in Minneapolis (an average of 60 million gallons of wastewater a day!) runs through the sanitary sewer system to the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, which are operated and maintained by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) in St. Paul. Fees paid to MCES go towards maintaining its regional collection system and the direct costs of wastewater treatment. Read more about How It Works .
How does the wastewater from my house get to the treatment plant?
You can read about how the sewer and stormwater systems work both inside and outside your house on the How It Works web page.
Where can I find phone numbers for reporting problems with stormwater or sewers?
For a list of contacts, available hours and phone numbers, see Contact Information - Minneapolis Sewer Operations.
Last updated Jan 18, 2017