Sewer Separation

Work on the South Ottumwa Sewer Separation has been underway since August 2006. The project is being funded through federal appropriations, grants and local option sales tax revenues. The project is aimed at bringing Ottumwa into compliance with national clean water standards, reduce the amount of pollution being discharged into the oxbow lagoons and Des Moines River and will lower incidence of raw sewage backups in resident’s basements.

Phase V, Division 1 – bordered by Richmond to Hamilton Ave/ Ferry Street to Kettle Creek on the west. 2012-ongoing
Phase IV – Flood Protection Mitigation Project – $16.2 million. Ottumwa Waterworks and west end. 2013-ongoing
Phase III, Division 2 – Area along Finley Avenue, Milner to Ferry. 2011-2012 COMPLETE
Phase III, Division 1 – $5.9 million – area bordered Richmond Ave and Church St/ Ransom and Mary St. 2010-2011 COMPLETE
Phase II – $6.3 million – area is bordered by Finley and Mary Street/ Madison and Ward. 2008-2010 – COMPLETE
Phase I – $8.4 million project – Oxbow Lagoon, Church St, Sheridan Ave, Garfield & Moore St. 2006-2008 COMPLETE

Sewer Maintenance

The Sewer Maintenance Department is responsible for the day to day cleaning, inspection and repair the City’s sanitary sewer lines and stormwater system including catchbasins.    Many problems for the home owners are caused by grass clippings and leaves being put in the street which clog the catchbasins and get into the sewers.  Our Street Cleaners are responsible for sweeping and flushing approximately 70 miles of streets and twelve parking lots. Their goal is to clean the city streets at least four times a year. The sweepers pick up between 6 to 14 tons of dirt everyday, including special requests to pick up debris that has been dumped on our streets such as trash, glass, and various household items.

This department handles citizen requests as listed below:
• Sewage and water back-ups into homes and basements
• Sewer smells
• Flooded streets
• Collapsed sewer lines
• Catchbasin and storm sewer cleaning & repair
• Rattling manhole lids or ones that pop off
• Sweeping of all city streets and city parking lots

Private Sewers

There are areas within the Ottumwa City Limits where multiple households are served by a private, common sewer line that may extend some distance before connecting with a public sewer.  Private sewers are the responsibility of the property owners and are not maintained by the City of Ottumwa.   It’s not uncommon for property owners to be unaware that they are connected to a private sewer line.   To determine if your home is connected into a public or private sewer main, please contact the City Engineering Department at 641-683-0680.

Presentation regarding private sewers in Ottumwa (pdf)


workzone 22 Sewer Maintenance Division
Public Works Central Garage
550 Gateway Drive
Ottumwa, IA 52501

Call us to report a clogged catch basin or other sewer related problem.

Ottumwa's Sewer System by the Numbers:

- 149 miles of gravity sanitary sewer
- 2,893 sanitary sewer manholes
- 9. 5 miles of force main sanitary sewer
- 21 sanitary sewer pump stations
- 75. 4 miles of storm sewer
-742 storm sewer manholes
- 3, 634 storm sewer intakes