When it rains in Iowa City, water passes over roofs, streets, parking lots and other land surfaces picking up pollutants such as oil, chemicals, pesticides and eroded soil along the way. Any pollutant that is directed into the stormwater drainage system bypasses any treatment and flows directly into our waterways and to those downstream from us. This creates hazards for people, wildlife, and the environment. Protecting stormwater quality keeps our waterways healthy and preserves wildlife habitat.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a federal program that regulates storm water discharge into waterways. To comply with the federal requirements, the City of Iowa City received a permit to discharge storm water and develop programs to reduce the discharge of pollutants carried by storm water into our local waterways.

The goals of the stormwater utility are:

  1. To protect the community and its waterways through sound planning and construction of stormwater management projects, such as storm sewer and flood-prevention capital improvements.
  2. To inform residents in the use of “Best Management Practices” (BMPs) to aid in reducing stormwater runoff volumes and improving stormwater quality and to promote their use through cost subsidies. Examples of such practices include creek management, rain gardens, rain barrels, and other methods. To encourage their use, stormwater utility fees will be used to help defray the cost to homeowners of some or all of these methods.
  3. To monitor pollutants in waterways and inform homeowners and businesses of methods they can use to reduce pollution and improve stormwater quality.
  4. To promote and coordinate volunteer efforts to clean up creek banks, remove debris from waterways, and other environmental projects.
  5. Ensure compliance by contractors and developers with Federal regulations for sediment protection during construction projects by promoting Best Management Practices (BMPs).

For more information, contact City Engineer Jason Havel

Stormwater Emergency contact information:

  • Storm sewer hot line (24-hour emergency): 319-356-5177. 

City Government