Storm Sewer Maintenance
The sewer division is responsible for maintenance and management of 471.62 miles of storm sewer, 8,030 storm manholes, 12,125 storm inlets, 52 miles of ditches, and 21.5 miles of levee maintenance. Pipe sizes making up the current collection system for storm water range from 6" to 10 feet by 5 feet box.
The Stormwater Utility Division is responsible for stormwater management planning and engineering including flood control and mitigation, responding to residents’ drainage concerns, and improving surface water quality within the City of Des Moines. For more information, please see the Links below:
Flood Control and Mitigation
Easter Lake Public Meeting Factsheet
What is a Storm Sewer?
A storm drain, stormwater drain, or storm sewer system is designed to drain excess rain and groundwater from paved streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and roofs. They are fed by street gutters on most motorways, freeways and other busy roads, as well surface runoff from other areas during rain events. Most storm sewer systems are designed to handle smaller more frequent storms. During heavier, infrequent storms some street ponding is expected, and sometimes water may run to a natural drainageway.
Function of Storm Sewer
There are two main types of stormwater drain (sewer) inlets; side inlets and grated inlets. Side (or curb inlets) are located adjacent to the curb and rely on the ability of the opening to capture the water flow. Grated inlets have gratings or grids to prevent large objects and debris from falling into the sewer system. However their bars are fairly widely spaced so that the flow of water is not impeded.
Pipes can come in many different shapes (rectangular, square, oval and more commonly, circular) and have many different features. Several different materials can also be used, such as brick, concrete, or less frequently, metal.
Most drains have a single large exit at their point of discharge (often covered by a grating) into a canal, river, lake or reservoir. In Des Moines all stormwater eventually drains to the Des Moines or Raccoon River, either through a direct discharge from the storm sewer system or after making its way to a larger creek, such as Walnut or Four Mile Creek.
Typically, there are no treatment facilities in the piping system other than catch-basins. In some cases, storm drains may discharge into man-made excavations known as detention or retention ponds before being discharged to a water body.
Report a Problem
To report any stormwater pollution concerns, such as illicit discharges, drainage concerns, connections or polluted runoff from a construction site please contact the City's 24-Hour Hotline at (515) 283-4950 or submit a online concern.