Operation & Maintenance

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The City of West Des Moines owns and maintains many types of public stormwater facilities including:

  • Over 5,100 intakes
  • Over 2,600 manholes
  • Over 500 outlets
  • Over 160 miles of storm sewer pipe
  • Over 60 roadway culverts
  • Over 10 miles of channels
  • Over 2.5 miles of levee and structures
  • 4 pump stations

Typical maintenance activities include routine inspections, removal of sediment and debris, reconstruction or repair of pipe and structures, vegetation control, and erosion control.


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The Department of Public Services maintains only public infrastructure. Many stormwater facilities including storm sewers, detention ponds, and streams are located on private property. If public facilities are located on private property they are generally covered by an easement allowing the City access to perform any maintenance.  The City is responsible for restoring any disturbed sod.  However, replacement of paved surfaces, fences, buildings, landscaping, retaining walls, or other obstructions within the easement area are the responsibility of the property owner.

Areas of overland flowage such as swales or streams are often located on private property. Typically these areas are along the rear or side property line. These drainageways may begin anywhere from one block to several miles away from your property. Although this water comes from several properties, including City right-of-way, state law requires each individual owner to convey this water through their property. It is the City's policy that the property owner is responsible for maintaining that part of the drainageway on their property, including removal of obstructions and repair of erosion.