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
Not sure if it’s a weed or a native plant? Can’t decide whether to pull it or keep it? The Pull It or Keep It mobile app or field guide is your onestop resource for identifying commonly found urban weeds and plants in Iowa. Native plants are increasingly being incorporated into residential and commercial landscapes in Iowa. Weed removal is key to keeping these landscapes looking good and absorbing more stormwater runoff. Click here to download for Apple products and here for Android devices.
The Healthy Soils, Healthy Streams campaign aims to educate municipalities, residents, and lawncare companies about the connection between lawn management, soil health, and water quality. Soil health is the ability of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. It is also directly connected to local stream quality. Viewing soil as a living thing reflects a fundamental shift in the way we care for our nation’s soils.
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
- Prairie Hill Co-Housing Development Receives Honorable Mention Stormwater Award
- City of Readlyn Receives Stormwater and Urban Watershed Jurisdiction of the Year Award
- City of Coralville Wins Award for Stormwater and Urban Watershed Development
- Coe College Receives Stormwater and Urban Watershed Partner of the Year Award
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