City of Des Moines Sees Uptick in Sump Pump Rebate Program

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Following the anniversary of last summer's flooding, the City of Des Moines said even more residents have taken advantage of the sump pump and backflow preventer program.

Through the Private Property Protection Program, the City of Des Moines will pay for the first $1,500 of work to install a sump pump and/or backflow preventer in the basement.

How it works is residents have the work done by a licensed contractor and plumber and then submit forms to the city to receive the money back.

Before Beaverdale resident Karla Snodgrass had her sump pump, she described her basement like this: "Anytime it rained you were guaranteed running water through the basement. We had a false floor on there so that the water would run under it and then last June that was covered. So other times you would get two to three feet of rain. We've replaced washers and dryers. We've replaced furnaces.”

After years of problems, she had a sump pump installed through the program which paid for all but $80 of the work after it was complete and the application was submitted.

“That helps residents put in backflow preventers that will help ease the problem of sewer backups in basements. And the other part of that is it will assist with the installation and modification or expansion of sump pumps also aimed at disconnecting those from the sanitary sewer system to both protect the properties and protect the sewer system from a lot of rainwater getting in.” said Jonathan Gano, director of Des Moines Public Works.

The city says with this recent uptick in the program, they have paid out more than $300,000 to residents who made the repairs.

Snodgrass said you also have to claim the money on your taxes and have an inspection to make sure everything in the area is up to code, but it was all worth it.

“I was in Chicago during last Saturday’s rain and everyone is like, 'oh Beaverdale is flooding.' I’m getting these messages and so my basement was as dry as could be when I got home and I had no problems,” Snodgrass said.

It's not just basement work that the city will help pay. They also offer rebates on work to install rain barrels, rain gardens and for soil quality restoration.

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