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'Bioretention cells' built to improve water quality

'Bioretention cells' built to improve water quality

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UNI Bioretention Cell

This bioretention cell on the University of Northern Iowa campus helps filter dirty rain runoff from parking lots which otherwise would head to Dry Run Creek.

CEDAR FALLS | Another project to improve water quality in the Dry Run Creek watershed has been completed.

Two bioretention cells were constructed on the University of Northern Iowa campus to collect runoff from parking lots and allow the water to infiltrate the ground slowly.

The Black Hawk Soil and Water Conservation District received a $48,400 grant for the project in 2011 from the Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board.

The installation south of West 30th Street and the Panther Village housing complex collects water from about 2 1/2 acres of parking lots, which is about 1.74 million gallons annually.

The cells filter pollutants and are designed with a bottom rock chamber layer, a compost and sand mixture and topped with perennial plants to absorb nutrients.

The University of Northern Iowa, Black Hawk Soil and Water Conservation District and Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project has installed a number of water quality improvement practices since 2005.

For information about the Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project or ways to improve water quality, contact Ashley Kittle at the Black Hawk Soil and Water Conservation District at 296-3262 ext. 304 or ashley.kittle@ia.nacdnet.net.

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