Street to Stream, No Treatment in Between

Capture rainfall where it lands.

Welcome to the Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership


Our mission is to enable everyone to value and improve water quality by providing education and technical services. The mission is overseen by an 11-person Board, comprised of stormwater professionals from member cities and universities in Iowa. These directors, and other members, serve on several volunteer committees for directing staff on educational resources, marketing, membership, and training.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency MS-4 stormwater regulatory requirements prompted our founding in 2005. Since our founding, the goal of the Iowa Stormwater Management Partnership (ISWEP) is twofold: Support compliant and effective local stormwater management programs with unified education and outreach delivered statewide.
The majority of Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4) cities in Iowa are members of ISWEP. We are also comprised of educational organizations, professional firms, businesses, and individuals.Membership with ISWEP includes access to our educational toolbox resources, access to a library of training materials, check out of stormwater displays and items for community events, and localized training events and discounts.
ISWEP creates and provides its members with educational tools and resources that are used locally to help inform the public about the importance of clean stormwater and how to prevent pollution and soak up more rainfall. These resources are developed for and distributed to numerous target audiences including:  city staff and councils, homeowners, builders, developers, contractors, business owners, and children.
The second area of focus is training. ISWEP certification programs set a statewide standard to assist with implementation of stormwater regulations that includes the use and maintenance of appropriate pollution prevention practices. Events are held across the state every year.  Additional training events address green infrastructure and urban stormwater management.

Recent and Current Projects


We’re excited to be partnering with SouthGate Companies on a research project aiming to address soil decompaction, from large scale developments to individual home lots. Methods tested mirror guidelines in the Iowa Stormwater Management Manual and will allow researchers to observe the most functional and cost-effective decompaction efforts. Data outcomes will be analyzed by Iowa State University Department of Agronomy and Iowa State University Department of Horticulture researchers. Watch the video!
Produced by ISWEP, the Water Warriors video series will journey across Iowa to meet with individuals protecting stormwater resources. The first class of Water Warriors will include seven professionals in Iowa that are making significant strides in water quality protection and enhancement. The short interviews will be featured at the 2021 IStorm Conference. Stay tuned!
Rain gardens are a key practice for creating landscapes that are both beautiful and hydrologically functional – that is – landscapes that hold and infiltrate rainfall rather than generating runoff that causes water quality problems and contributes to flooding. ISWEP is currently updating the 2009 manual with updated calculations, lessons learned, and much more! The new edition will be a excellent tool for homeowners and landscaping professional and is expected to be released before the end of 2020.
ISWEP has partnered with IDALS and Polk County SWCD to implement the Rain Campaign. Like an umbrella, our built environment sheds water instead of allowing it to naturally soak into the ground leading to flooding and water quality problems. To achieve goals of better stormwater management and improved local water quality, cities across the Des Moines Metro have created funding programs for the residents to make it easier for them to be a part of these water solutions.
Every two years ISWEP conducts the Stormwater Utility Fee and Management Survey to determine current utility rates and stormwater program capacities. ISWEP completed surveying cities across Iowa in late 2019 and has published the results for member organizations. Results will be released to the public mid-2020. Results discovered through the survey will help communities make informed decisions about creating a new utility or for altering existing utilities.
ISWEP has partnered with the Iowa DNR to host workshops intended for professionals dealing with industrial and commercial facilities and stormwater permitting, which involves General Permits #1 and #3. This training opportunity has been developed to help those facilities understand their permitting requirements, develop pollution prevention plans, and implement best management practices with the goal of staying in compliance.

Quick Learning Links


Stormwater News


Rain Garden eBook

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