Stormwater Best Management Practices

What is stormwater?
Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snow melt.  It does not percolate directly into the ground when it flows from roof tops, land, parking lots, streets, sidewalks and driveways.

Where does stormwater go?
Stormwater is discharged into our waterways.  Runoff picks up sediment, contaminants, litter, nutrients, and pollutants. Unmanaged stormwater can cause water pollution, stream bank erosion, and flooding.

What can I do?
Constructing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to capture water where it lands allows pollutants and sediment to settle before they have a chance to discharge directly into waterways.  BMPs include the following:

  • rain barrels (can be purchased from local retail/home improvement stores or online)
  • rain gardens
  • bioswales
  • stream buffers
  • native vegetation filter strips

BMPs help improve the water quality of our streams, creeks, and ponds, also improving water quality downstream in the Marais Des Cygnes River, Blue River, and the Kansas River.

What is the Cost Share Reimbursement Program?
The City of Olathe is offering a Stormwater Cost Share Reimbursement.  The goal is to encourage landowners and businesses to construct BMP’s on their property to improve water quality.  The program is intended to help cover the cost of materials, equipment and labor.  The City will provide a 50% match for expenses on the following:

  • Rain gardens, bioswales, stream buffers, or native plantings, up to $1,000.
  • Rain barrels, up to $75 each.  Limit:  two rain barrels per household. 

Reimbursement is available to applicants on a first come, first serve basis subject to approval of the Department of Public Works, Stormwater Management.

Reimbursement will not be approved for BMPs required for new development.


  • For reimbursement of rain garden, bioswale, stream buffer or native plantings, the City requires access to your property for evaluation of the project prior to the start of construction, during and after construction of the project is complete.
  • For rain barrel reimbursement, the City requires access to your property for final inspection after the rain barrel is installed and a copy of your receipt is submitted.
  • Implementation of an approved project is the sole responsibility of the property owner.
  • The City is not liable for personal injury or property damage.
  • Projects approved for funding carry no implied warranty by the City.
  • The funded practice shall be maintained for a minimum period of three years.  All maintenance costs are the responsibility of the property owner.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining all applicable permits.  The BMP Project Application approval does not constitute a permit. 
  • Underground utilities should be located by the property owner before digging.

Instructions for a Rain Barrel Project:

  1. Complete and submit the BMP Project Application.
  • Attach receipt(s) with the application.
  1. Submit a request for an inspection after the project is complete.
  • The City will process reimbursement after the project is approved, receipts have been submitted and an inspection has been completed.

Instructions for a Rain Garden, Bioswale, Stream Buffer or Native Plantings Project:

  1. Complete and submit the BMP Project Application
  • Attach the following documents with the application:  Site plan map, cost summary, project schedule and pre-construction photograph(s).
  • Cost estimate(s) or quote(s) are required.
  • Ensure the application is submitted by the property owner.
  1. Wait for notification of approval.
  2. Submit a request for an initial inspection before the project is started.
  3. Submit a request for final inspection after the project is complete.
  4. Submit final receipts for approval and reimbursement.
  • The City will process reimbursement after the project is approved, receipts have been submitted and all inspections have been completed.

Contact us via OlatheConnect

Know Your Roots
Conserve Water with Rain Barrels
How to Build a Rain Garden
Native Plants
Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses



 City of Olathe
Dept. of Public Works
Stormwater Management Section
1385 S. Robinson St.
P.O. Box 768
Olathe, KS  66051-0768