Rockwell City Water Resource Restoration Enhancements

Rockwell City, IA | Water


The City of Rockwell City, Iowa (City) enlisted the design expertise of ISG water resource engineers to construct stormwater quality improvements as additional enhancements to the City’s Downtown Square Improvement project.


As the City implemented multiple downtown infrastructure improvement projects, they took advantage of a special State Revolving Fund (SRF) Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Project program through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The program offered the City a discounted interest rate, allowing the interest savings to be used on the construction of stormwater quality improvements.


ISG water resource experts designed and implemented two bioretention cell areas at the intersection of Third and South Streets. These stormwater runoff retention areas were designed to allow sediments to filter out of the stormwater before it entered the surface and other water ways. The City’s residential and feed mill water runoff was slowed, filtered, and retained—improving water quality. The added benefits of the bioretention cells were the beautification of the downtown business district with low maintenance native plantings, and the reduced stress on the City’s infrastructure and long-term stormwater treatment costs.

The addition of a rain garden at the Calhoun County Courthouse served as another natural element and attractive feature designed for stormwater improvement. The functional landscaped area was created to capture and filter stormwater before entering storm drains. The rain garden collects water in a constructed shallow vegetated depression, allowing water to slowly soak into the ground. By simultaneously constructing the rain garden and bioretention cells with other downtown improvements projects, the City maximized their investment, increased awareness of water quality treatment, and was able to take advantage of a viable outside funding source.

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