About the Project

The City of Des Moines is initiating a new Project which is included in the City’s Long Term Control Plan, developed to eliminate combined sewer overflows (CSO). The Lower Oak Park and Highland Park Sewer Separation Project is located along the Des Moines River, north of downtown. Currently, stormwater in this area is collected and conveyed by both separate storm sewer and combined sewer systems. The combined storm sewer and sanitary sewer flows are conveyed to the Birdland Pump Station on Saylor Drive, south of the marina. The sewage flows are pumped to the WRA treatment facility.

The Lower Oak Park and Highland Park Sewer Separation Project will remove storm water inlets from the combined sewer system. Approximately 10,000 linear feet of new storm sewer is anticipated to be constructed. The anticipated cost of the Project is $11.8 million.

The Project is expected to be complete in 2018 and will help the City meet the nine minimum control requirements in the current City/Wastewater Reclamation Authority National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit. Additionally, this Project is required by a 2010 State of Iowa/Iowa Department of Natural Resources Consent Order, Judgment and Decree.


The primary goal of the Project is to eliminate the combined sewer overflows at the Birdland Marina. Additionally, the Project will reduce the number of sewer backups and the extent of surface flooding throughout the Project area.