Stormwater in the City of Des Moines is managed by the Clean Water Program. Although it is the responsibility of the Clean Water Program to manage the city's stormwater, residents can also assist in many ways.
Ways to Reduce Stormwater Runoff and Improve Stormwater Runoff Quality
- Redirect Roof Drains: Make sure the drains coming off your roof are directed into nearby gardens or other vegetated areas, not the sanitary sewer.
- Use Phosphorous-Free Fertilizer: Purchasing and using phosphorus-free fertilizer helps reduce algae blooms as it is not a needed nutrient for central Iowa lawns. Phosphorus is the middle number displayed on fertilizer bags. (For example, 20-0-20).
- Clean Up Pet Waste: Clean up pet waste to prevent excess nutrients and harmful bacteria from entering water bodies.
- Use Best Management Practices: The City of Des Moines will reimburse property owners 50% of the cost (up to $2,000) for qualified work that reduces stormwater runoff.
The City of Des Moines also offers the Stormwater Best Management Practices Program, which provides recommendations residents can implement to help enhance the water quality of stormwater runoff and/or decrease the amount of stormwater runoff that enters the stormwater drainage system.
Report a Problem
To report any stormwater pollution concerns like:
- Drainage concerns
- Unauthorized storm sewer or waterway connections
- Polluted runoff
Contact the City's 24-Hour Hotline at (515) 283-4950 or submit a concern online
Erosion Control Information
Sediment Control Information
Construction Site Pollution Prevention
Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Permit Information
Best Management Practices
Privately Owned Stormwater Controls
You may have a privately-owned stormwater management practice on your property. If you have a privately-owned structural control on your property and there is no existing contract or association that maintains it regularly, you as the property owner are required to maintain that practice in accordance with section 106-136 of the City of Des Moines Municipal Code. The City of Des Moines has provided the guides below to assist with maintenance of stormwater management practices on private property.
The City of Des Moines has multiple guides to assist with the maintenance of stormwater management practices on private property.
Rules and Regulations
- For more information regarding Grading Permit Requirements, refer to Section 42-86 of the Municipal Code
- To learn more about an applicant's Grading Permit Responsibilities, refer to Section 42-121 of the Municipal Code
- Illicit Discharges are prohibited as outlined in Section 42-453 of the Municipal Code
- Illicit Connections are also prohibited as outlined in Section 42-454 of the Municipal Code
- Depositing dirt, debris or other items to the point of obstructing a waterway is prohibited as detailed in Section 42-455 of the Municipal Code
Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership (ISWEP) Information
The mission of the Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership (ISWEP) is to encourage everyone to value and improve water quality through education and technical services. The City of Des Moines is a founding member of ISWEP and works to support compliant and effective stormwater management.