Rain Barrel and Soil Quality Restoration Reimbursement Program

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Stormwater Basics

Stormwater is water that runs from impervious surfaces (paved surfaces, roofs and compacted lawns) from rain, snow melt and surface drainage. As the stormwater drains over the landscape, it can collect sediment, contaminants, litter, nutrients, and other pollutants. Allowing rainwater to infiltrate/percolate or slow down close to the point of contact with an impervious surface provides pollutants and sediment a chance to settle out rather than continuing downstream to a drainage way, creek, or river. Much more information about stormwater basics can be found at www.iowastormwater.org.

Residential Reimbursement Program

The City of West Des Moines has developed a reimbursement program to assist City residents with installing a Rain Barrel and/or a soil quality restoration (SQR) improvement for their property.  The goal of this program is to encourage residents to reduce storm water runoff, collect stormwater for yard/garden use, and improve the soil quality on their properties.  The program is intended to help offset the cost of materials and/or contractor labor to install such improvements.  Funding is available to applicants on a first-come, first-served basis and is subject to the approval of the West Des Moines Engineering Services Department.  City approval is required prior to any installation.  Only existing residential properties are eligible for reimbursement. Properties that are developed as part of new subdivisions are not eligible for reimbursement.

Rain Barrels


Residents are eligible for a maximum reimbursement of $75.  Limit one rain barrel reimbursement per address. Rain Barrels are used for the collection and storage of rainwater from rooftops via a downspout. Water collected can be used to water plants, lawns and gardens. Rain barrels help reduce stormwater runoff and encourage water conservation. Existing used rain barrels or individuals who have previously received a  reimbursement will not be eligible. Eligible rain barrels must be at least 50 gallons in size.


Soil Quality Restoration (SQR)


The City will match 50% of the SQR cost up to $1500.  Limit one SQR reimbursement per year per address. SQR is the process of improving soil health on new or existing lawns. The process uses tillage, aeration and compost to increase infiltration and organic matter content in topsoil. SQR leads to healthier, more functional soils and allows landscapes to absorb more rain and shed less runoff.

Area Contractors/Vendors

Download a list of area contractors/vendors.

Reimbursement Application Form

Download Rain Barrel and Soil Quality reimbursement application, instructions and conditions.


Application Submission

Submit the completed application to the City of West Des Moines Engineering Services Department for review at the following:

City of West Des Moines Engineering Services
c/o: Rain Barrel & SQR Reimbursement
4200 Mills Civic Parkway
P. O. Box 65320
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265-0320

Submit by email to rainbarrelandsoil@wdm.iowa.gov

Attach a location map, project description, cost summary and project schedule with the application.