Drainage District No. 15

Iowa | agriculture

Overview

ISG innovated tile drainage infrastructure solutions to create a model for quality wetland restorations.


Opportunity

An Iowa Department of Agriculture pilot program provided the opportunity to design wetland mitigation that could be translated across the state.

Solution

Palo Alto County volunteered to be part of this pilot project with the Iowa Department of Agriculture to demonstrate a market driven approach that would improve both production and achieve significant environmental benefits through combining updates to tile drainage infrastructure with targeted water quality wetland restorations. This integrated approach was designed by ISG to reduce surface runoff that can lead to phosphorous and other agricultural chemical runoff as well as address the higher nitrate levels associated with tile drainage. Drainage improvements and a strategically located and sized wetland were placed in the watershed.

As one of five pilot projects of the Iowa Wetland Landscape Systems Initiative, this ISG designed project included construction of 0.70 miles of open ditch; 6.7 miles of tile; design and construction of a nutrient removal wetland encompassing 42.7 acres; 404 permitting with channel mitigation plan; and development and coordination with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) for mitigation of farmed wetlands. This project provided the means to demonstrate that wetlands can provide mitigation, thereby making this market driven approach feasible for application across the rest of Iowa’s drainage districts that are nearing the end of their design life and will need to be modernized over the next few decades.


Market News

Lake Crystal ramping up water quality improvement efforts

November 14, 2019 – LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. (KEYC) — Water quality concerns in Lake Crystal are being addressed thanks to a group effort and the addition of a phosphorus removal system installed in Lake Crystal which is the first to be installed in the state.
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$15 Million BUILD Grant Announced for Central Iowa Water Trails

November 7, 2019 – The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), together with its partners working to implement Central Iowa Water Trails, today announces its receipt of a $25 million grant from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grant program of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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