Biggest Wetland Project in State Awaits First Spring Flush

Jan 17, 2020


To Prevent Floods, Remove Nitrate

January 17, 2020 (Storm Lake, Iowa) The largest wetland project undertaken by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship sits east of Storm Lake waiting for spring to come so it can perform its duty. It was built last summer not only to prevent flooding, but to remove nitrate from primarily tile-drained land in five Buena Vista County drainage districts.

Those who drove east out of Storm Lake on C49 last spring could see the problem. Nine miles east of Walmart – straight north of Newell – a drainage ditch runs north to south under the blacktop eventually emptying into the Raccoon River. Floodwaters lapped up on both sides of C49, almost up to road level. Round bales lay submerged to the right. Up a small rise is Haahr Turkey Farm.

During the summer things dried up and grading equipment moved in on the north side of C49. Workers created a berm, or a big earthen basin. Floodwater and tile drainage from 5,548 acres to the north will collect in the pool.

The pool is shallow to encourage denitrification, a microbial process that converts nitrate to nitrogen gas (most of the air we breathe).

The wetland pool (year-round standing water) will be approximately 56 acres.

When the water in the pool reaches a certain level it flows over a weir – a dam-like structure – made of sheet pile. Long metal posts – the longest a whopping 34 feet long – were driven vertically into the ground side by side. The crest of the weir is 50 feet wide.

The wetland includes at the east end Grau Wildlife area where trees are planted and a pond attracts waterfowl.

The construction of the wetland is part of the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).

All that needs to be done to finish the project is some tile work and seeding which will happen next spring, says Bethany Brittenham, an ISG engineer who was part of the effort.

The total easement for this large development is 75 acres. Originally five landowners were involved. Now two are, since the others sold land to the DNR, says Brittenham.

While the outlet channels will be the responsibility of the drainage district, the grassland will be the responsibility of the landowner.

The remaining cost, development, acquisition and maintenance of the wetland itself is the responsibility of IDALS.

“That’s why I like this project. Farmers can do it,” she says. “And it improves water quality.”

The cost per year of nitrate removal is an average of $0.26/lb. “That makes wetlands one of the more efficient and cost effective practices for nitrate removal,” she says

When the final steps of the project are complete the total cost will become public.

To read original article from The Storm Lake Times, click here.

News

ISG Strategically Advances Environmental Service Expertise

July 23, 2020 (Bloomington, Minnesota) – ISG, a professional design and engineering firm made a strategic advancement to expand its services by welcoming Julie Blackburn as its new Environmental Practice Group Leader, out of the firm’s Bloomington office. Joining 300+ employee-owners including a team of in-house environmental scientists, Julie, the former Governor’s appointee to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, brings over 25 years of passion for identifying environmental solutions and will guide the firm as it takes the next step in becoming an industry leader in environmental services.
Read More

ISG Named Business of the Year by Grow Cedar Valley

June 22, 2020 (Waterloo, Iowa) – Based on its growing presence in eastern Iowa and efforts to give back to the community, ISG has received the 2020 Business of the Year Award from Grow Cedar Valley, an organization devoted to the growth of businesses in the region. ISG’s Waterloo office was honored as one of two businesses of the year (1-50 full-time employees), marking the firm’s growing impact in the region since expanding its footprint to Waterloo in 2018.
Read More

ISG Bolsters Connectivity with Strategic Telecommunications Expertise Addition

May 29, 2020 (Green Bay, Wisconsin) – ISG, a professional design and engineering firm that serves both diverse markets and vast geographies, recently expounded upon its progressive strength and business unit diversification by welcoming long-time telecommunications leader Dan Nelson, PE. Based out of the Green Bay office, Dan and his team will continue to advance connectivity and further support clients on a national level.
Read More

ISG Adds Minneapolis Architecture Expertise

March 20, 2020 (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – In an effort to strengthen services for a wide range of partners in the Twin Cities and across the Midwest, ISG is joining forces with Architects Rego + Youngquist, LLC. (ARY) of St. Louis Park, Minnesota. As a premier provider of design services in the education, civic and cultural, and healthcare markets, ARY’s talented professionals will add a wider breadth of expertise as they are integrated into ISG’s multi-disciplinary team.
Read More

ISG Water Solutions Team Amplifies Resources, Adds Strategic Talent

January 28, 2020 (Storm Lake, Iowa) – ISG, a professional design and engineering firm that is 100% owned by employees, recently expanded its Water Solutions Group by welcoming long-time Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) leader Julie Sievers. Ready to embark on this new endeavor with ISG as Senior Water Specialist, Julie will complement a seasoned group of professionals, including internationally recognized Water Solutions Group Leader and Associate Principal, Uma Vempati, PE, PMP, ENV SP, Iowa project leader and Associate Principal, Tom Grafft, and many others within the firm of 315+ professionals.
Read More

Biggest Wetland Project in State Awaits First Spring Flush

January 17, 2020 – The largest wetland project undertaken by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship sits east of Storm Lake waiting for spring to come so it can perform its duty. It was built last summer not only to prevent flooding, but to remove nitrate from primarily tile-drained land in five Buena Vista County drainage districts.
Read More
Expertise

One firm, one team, multi-disciplinary solutions in architecture, engineering, environmental, and planning.

Contact Us

10 offices and 290+ professionals with clients nationwide, at your service.

News + Events

ISG ingenuity at work for clients, communities, and partners across the U.S.