Surface Water Quality

The City of Minnetonka has 13 designated lakes and ponds within its boundaries. They are Crane, Gleason, Glen, Holiday, Libbs, Lone, Minnetonka (Gray’s Bay), Minnetoga (Mud), Rose, Shady Oak, Shavers, Windsor, and Wing. There are also numerous other smaller ponds and wetlands throughout the city.

A beaker hold a sample of water for testing.Phosphorus and suspended sediment are recognized as being particularly detrimental to the health of lakes, streams, and wetlands. As a result, the City of Minnetonka is requiring measures to reduce the influx of these pollutants to its water bodies. Furthermore, to better plan its strategy, the City has identified projected uses and corresponding water quality goals for each of its wetlands and major water bodies. The City’s Water Resources Management Plan details these water quality goals and strategies.

Wherever possible, the City manages water quality on a regional basis to meet the goals of the City and four watershed management organizations (Minnehaha Creek, Bassett Creek, Purgatory Creek, and Nine-Mile Creek) within the City. Using the regional management concept, some water bodies will be used to protect the quality of others.

The desired water quality for a particular water body may be quite different from those of another lake, pond or wetland. The desired water quality corresponds to the water body’s expected use and its sensitivity to storm water input. For example, a large lake in the midst of a residential area may be expected to provide safe and healthful swimming for local citizens. Water quality in this situation would need to be excellent. By contrast, the water quality expectations for a small and relatively neglected pond in a predominately commercial zone would be lower. Realizing this distinction between water bodies, the City of Minnetonka has classified water bodies according to their expected use and corresponding required water quality.

The City periodically tests the water quality of its water bodies through sampling and analysis. This information is used to assess how the management practices above are functioning and to identify and develop public projects to improve water quality. For information on how residents can take part in improving the water quality in our lakes and other water bodies, you may contact our natural resources manager, Jo Colleran at 952.988.8415 or

For information on a specific lake’s water quality or our testing procedures, contact Liz Stout, Engineering Department at 952.939.8233 or

Surface water quality reports


Water quality links

Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
Hennepin Conservation District
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources – Waters
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District
Bassett Creek Water Management Organization
Nine Mile Watershed District