Storm Water

Storm water can pose a risk to our water resources due to the fact that pollutants in storm water can impact lakes, streams, and rivers. The city is working together with neighboring communities on new programs to control storm water pollution. To report a storm water problem or concerns, please call the Storm Water Hotline at 515-278-3950, or the City of Urbandale's citizens request system, YourGOV.

NPDES Permit Holders should submit their weekly SWPPP inspection reports to the City of Urbandale at

What is 

Storm Water?

Storm water is water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement due to rain or snow melt (also called storm water runoff). Water may seep into the ground, flow in ditches or streams, or enter the storm drain system. The storm drains are what you see at street corners or at low points on the sides of streets. Storm drains lead to a discharge point such as open channels or directly into natural rivers or creeks within the community.

Natural creeks have a small amount of base flow, which is caused by groundwater recharge and high water tables that are relatively clean. When it rains, the base flow is supplemented by storm water runoff from parking lots and city streets. Storm water runoff tends to pick up garbage, debris, sediment, chemicals, automotive fluids, and other pollutants. Storm water runoff is relatively dirty.


Storm Water Control is Important?

Storm water runoff is a major problem when it picks up garbage, debris, sediment, chemicals, automotive fluids, fertilizers, leaves, and other pollutants from parking lots, yards, city streets, shopping malls, house roofs, etc. This type of pollution is called non-point source (NPS) pollution and is more of a problem than direct discharges from commercial industries and plants, which have NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permits as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A common result of unclean storm water runoff is the loss of fish and aquatic wildlife from the community's streams and creeks. The city must comply with the new state and federal regulations related to storm water runoff.

Need for Stormwater Management

Stormwater runoff is rainfall or snowmelt that flows from saturated permeable surfaces like roofs and paved driveways, sidewalks, parking lots and streets. Stormwater runoff creates drainage and flooding problems and picks up pollutants such as oils, grease, fertilizers, pesticides, litter, and metal. This runoff is then collected and conveyed by ditches, culverts, intakes, catch basins, and storm sewers that discharge directly into creeks, rivers, streams, and lakes without being treated to remove the pollutants. The contaminants in stormwater negatively impact the quality of our local streams and lakes.

New federal laws regulating stormwater runoff require the City of Urbandale to develop and implement a comprehensive stormwater quality management program to protect and improve water quality.

Storm Water Regulations in Our City

To comply with new State and Federal regulations, Urbandale is required to implement a new storm water management program. The requirements include:

  • Construction Site Storm water Runoff and Control
  • Illicit Discharge and Elimination
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
  • Post-construction Storm water Management
  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Involvement

How to Protect Storm Water Quality?

The best way to protect storm water runoff quality is to avoid polluting in the first place. Conserve and recycle resources such as newspapers, plastic containers, glass jars, and metal cans. Don't dump hazardous substances such as used oil, household chemicals, yard fertilizer, or other wastes onto pavement or into storm drains. Practice picking up litter and disposing of leaves and yard waste properly.

Prevent excess runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides by using them properly and efficiently. Participate in local garbage and debris pickup days, and recycle household hazardous waste materials to prevent storm drain contamination. Encourage active citizen participation in storm water protection and public group education on storm water quality.