Public Works Department
The Oakdale Public Works Department is comprised of five divisions: Engineering, Forestry and Environmental Services, Parks, Streets and Fleet, and Utilities.
The Engineering Division is responsible for design, plan preparation, and construction of streets, walkways, and utilities, as well as traffic operations, right-of-way acquisition, grading permits, map preparation, and review and oversight of improvement projects.
The Forestry and Environmental Services Division is responsible for the trees on City property and right-of ways, as well as preserving and enhancing publicly-owned natural resources, such as lakes and ponds, wooded areas, and prairies.
The Parks Division is responsible for maintaining the City's parks, picnic shelters, trails, athletic fields, and City property and facilities.
The Streets and Fleet Division is responsible for snow removal, sweeping, patching, and signage.
The Utilities Division is responsible for water towers, sanitary sewer systems, hydrants, watermains and water distribution.
Find important reminders for residents and businesses for each season.
- 100 miles of streets
- 161 miles of sanitary and storm sewers
- 1,497 fire hydrants
- 13 sewer pump stations
- 8 wells
- 4 water towers
- 1,548 street lights
- 766 acres of parks, public land, and facilities
- Tree inspection and maintenance
- Emergency response for disasters
- Assists with city events and programs
- Making all streets passable within 12 hours after the start of snow plowing
- Filling all significant potholes within one week of notification
- Mowing grass at all parks weekly during summer
- Cleaning and inspecting sewers on a three-year cycle
- Responding to sewer backups in less than one hour
- Sweeping streets twice a year
- What are the winter parking regulations?
From November 1 though April 1, City streets need to be free of parked vehicles during the hours of midnight to 5 AM or any time it snows two or more inches, day or night, until the streets are plowed. A good rule of thumb is to not park on City streets any time measurable snow is forecast.
- What Items Does Public Works Accept for Disposal?
For a nominal fee, Public Works accepts branches/brush, under eight inches in diameter. Residents may also drop off their buckthorn for free from April 15 to October 15 pending weather. Drop off hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM at the Public Works building (1900 Hadley Avenue North).
No grass clippings or bagged leaves are allowed for drop off at Public Works. No other items are permitted for drop off aside from the items listed above.
For more details, call Public Works at 651-730-2740.
Washington County provides a list of options and locations for yard waste disposal as well as information on other disposal options. You can also use the disposal directory to find facilities specific to your disposal needs.
- What is the process for fixing a streetlight?
Please notify the city at 651-730-2740. The city will contact an electrician and repairs generally take place within a few days. More severe issues would take additional time.
- Does the city really give away trees every year?
Every April, in conjunction with Arbor Day, the city gives away trees to Oakdale residents. The event is held at Walton Park, located at 15th Street and Hadley Avenue. Residents may typically choose between three to four tree varieties. Master Gardeners are on hand to answer questions about planting your new tree. Watch the City newsletter, electronic message boards, and social media for details on how to register for your tree.
- I Live Near Water; What Do I Need to Know?
Please remember to not dispose of grass clippings or animal excrement adjacent to ponding areas or in streets and sewers. Grass clippings and other materials adversely affect the water quality of our wetlands and lakes. Also, the area surrounding wetlands / ponds (generally 25 feet around the perimeter) is owned by the city or state and should not be maintained as an extension of a private yard. The natural growth around wetland serves as a filter to reduce or eliminate harmful sediments from entering the water and creating algae.
- How Do I Borrow a Buckthorn Wrench from the City?
The Public Works Department has several sizes of buckthorn wrenches that you can borrow - at no charge! To reserve a wrench, please email Public Works or call 651-730-2740.
- Does Public Works Accept Branches, Brush and Christmas Trees?
Branches and other brush, under eight inches in diameter, are collected at Public Works, 1900 Hadley Avenue N, during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 3:30 PM, from spring fall. For details, please email Public Works or call 651-730-2740.
Each January, live evergreens may be taken to the Public Works facility, 1900 Hadley Avenue N, for a nominal fee, to be recycled. Evergreen wreaths and garlands cannot be accepted. For details, please email Public Works or call 651-730-2740.
- When May I Water my Lawn and Garden?
Water usage spikes during summer months, mostly as a result of lawn watering so it is critical that property owners practice smart lawn irrigation practices during this time. When watering in the summer, remember one inch of water per week, including rainfall, is all your lawn needs to remain healthy. Be sure to follow the City’s odd / even watering schedule (even numbered addresses water on even numbered days and odd on odd). Exemptions allowed are for new sod and seed on landscaping for the first three weeks and for businesses where the use of water is an essential element of their business).
- Can Vehicles Park by Mailboxes?
To allow for the unobstructed delivery of mail, vehicles must park at least 10 feet away from either side of all mailbox between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM, Monday - Saturday.
- Will the City Replace My Mailbox If It Is Hit By a Plow?
Yes, properly installed mailboxes that are accidentally toppled by the blade of a snowplow will be replaced by City crews as soon as time and weather allow. Please report damage by calling 651-730-2740.
During the winter, to ensure mail delivery, please clear snow away from the front of your mailbox. Year-round, between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Saturday, the area directly in front of any mailbox, and ten feet out from each side of the mailbox, needs to remain clear of vehicles to allow easy access to the mailbox by mail carriers.
- There's a Storm Drain Near My Home; What Do I Need to Know?
Anything washed from your property into the street goes into storm drains and ultimately ends up in our wetlands, lakes, ponds and waterways. Some of the things that are contaminating our wetlands, lakes, ponds, and waterways include: oil and gasoline, grass clippings and fertilizer, pet droppings, leaves, paint and toxic household products. Although it may seem somewhat harmless to pour a bit of old paint or spilled fertilizer into the storm sewer, please consider that the plants and wildlife that depend on water to survive and to thrive are being adversely affected. Become a Storm Sewer Steward for the storm sewer near your property by removing leaves, grass, trash that collect at the grate. Should you see someone considering putting something other than water into the storm drain, please email Public Works or call 651-730-2740.
Easy to remember: Only Rain in the Drain!
- When Does the City Flush Out Hydrants?
Typically in early May, all the hydrants throughout the City are flushed to clear out impurities, particularly iron deposits, that build up over the winter months. The flushing process may create a temporary interruption to your water service and/or discolor the water coming out of your faucet. In the case of discolored water, run the cold water for a few minutes.
- Can Basketball Hoops or Hockey Nets be in the Street?
For safety reasons - yours, your family's and city crews -- recreational devices (i.e. basketball hoops, hockey nets, etc.) cannot be placed or installed in the right-of-way or boulevard areas of your yard or in public streets, even on a temporary basis.
- Where Can I Dispose of a Tire?
Minnesota Mosquito Control will pick up tires, at no charge, during the summer months. Call 651-645-9149 to schedule a pick-up.
Tires may also be taken to the Public Works facility, 1900 Hadley Avenue N, during regular business hours (7 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday), and disposed of, for a nominal fee, from May 1 to September 30.
- I Have an Irrigation System; What Do I Need to Know?
Irrigation System Tips
- Turn the system’s automatic function off. Adjust the controls manually when it needs water.
- If you notice an area of your yard that needs more water, change the setting on that zone or adjust the sprinkler heads watering that specific area.
- Consider using low-volume, low-angle heads. Adjust heads so the water is delivered as close to the turf as possible. This minimizes water lost to evaporation.
- Observe your system in action. Adjust nozzles and irrigation duration as needed to ensure most efficient use of water possible. Make sure water is not sprinkling impervious surfaces such as sidewalks, roadways and driveways.
- If you are considering the installation of an irrigation system or an upgrade to an existing system, look for water-saving irrigation system technology. It will reduce water use and save you money on your water and sewer bill for years to come.
- What Do I Need to Know About Running a Sump Pump?
Please route it out!
The flow that enters the sanitary sewer system through toilets, wash tubs, and floor drains is sent to the treatment plant in Saint Paul. The flow is metered and Oakdale and its utility customers are charged for additional flow. If you use a sump pump, please note that it is illegal to discharge sump pumps into the sanitary sewer system (toilets, wash tubs, floor drains). Route discharge outside to your yard, the street, the storm sewer, or waterway.
- Who Should I Call if the Sewer Backs Up?
Anyone experiencing a problem with their sewer system should notify the Public Works Department immediately at 651-730-2740. Call the Ccty before you contact a drain cleaning service. The main sewer line will be investigated and the necessary action taken. If, however, the problem exists in the sanitary sewer service that connects the structure to the main sewer line, it would be the property owner's responsibility to have the problem corrected. If the correction involves cutting tree roots in the service line, property owners are asked to first call the Public Works Department at 651-730-2740. Note: many homeowners insurance policies exclude sewer back-ups, so homeowners are encouraged to talk to their agent about protection.
- Why does the city have load limits on certain streets?
During the spring thaw, the city's streets are weakened by water that becomes trapped in the gravel base below the pavement. The weight of vehicles can cause the road to bend, and if the surface is bent too far or too frequently, it cracks. As pavement ages, it becomes brittle and less able to withstand weight and movement and deteriorates at an accelerated pace. Weight restrictions are implemented each year in early spring in an effort to minimize the wear to the streets and to allow the base adequate time to stabilize. During this time, we ask that you avoid scheduling deliveries and remodeling projects. Please email Engineering or call 651-730-2734.
- What is the hardness of Oakdale's water?
The average water hardness is 14.6 grains.
- How do I request a traffic sign?
Each year, the City receives requests for traffic control signage. The City investigates the area to determine if additional signage or enforcement is necessary. The City has found that "Children at Play" signs, "Stop" signs, and additional speed limit signs are generally ineffective in controlling speeders because the offenders often live in the immediate area. Although enforcement may be an immediate solution, the most effective overall method is for all drivers to take special care to observe posted speed limits, especially in the presence of children. To learn more, call the Engineering Division at 651-730-2734.