City of Prior Lake, MN
City of Prior Lake, MN

Keeping Ponds, Lakes and Rivers Clean

The City of Prior Lake has an intensive street sweeping program that targets critical areas of the City with an increased sweeping frequency.  Some areas may see the street sweeper as often as once per week during the fall season.  The most critical areas are those areas that have direct drainage and no modern stormwater infrastructure to treat runoff before it enters our impaired lakes (Spring Lake and Upper Prior).  Drainage to other water bodies, including Lower Prior Lake, also has an increased priority.  


In 2019 the City collected approximately 1 million pounds of material (dirt, leaves, grass clippings, etc.) from our streets – material that would have ultimately washed into our water bodies.  Through this enhanced street sweeping program, the City can improve water quality and reduce the frequency of costly stormwater pond maintenance such as dredging.


When it rains, runoff from rooftops, driveways and parking lots flows directly into the storm sewer system, picking up grass clippings and leaves along the way.  Grass clippings and leaves start to leach phosphorus as soon as they contact water.  If they are washed into our storm sewer system, excess phosphorus will enter our surface waters and contribute to excessive algae growth, making water-related activities like boating, fishing, and swimming much less enjoyable.

Residents can support clean water efforts by targeting the phosphorus problem on their own properties. When mowing and raking this fall, keep grass clippings, leaves and soil off hard surfaces.  Residents are encouraged to compost leaves and grass clippings on their property.  Scott County residents may also bring organic material to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s (SMSC’s) Organics Recycling Facility, located at 1905 Mystic Lake Drive South in Shakopee.  The cost is $15 per load, no matter the size.  Their hours are M-F, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The free drop-off program on Sundays is closed for the season due to COVID restrictions.  Acceptable material includes leaves, shrubs, brush and logs, mulch, grass clippings, and other organics.  Visit for more details.