August 3, 2016

Four communities recently received awards for their Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects funded through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.  Sponsored projects allow communities to complete innovative water quality efforts.  The four awardees are:

Monona:  Winner of the 2016 Iowa Governor's Environmental Excellence Award.  The City of Monona implemented a parking lot replacement project at the City’s Family Aquatic Center that significantly improved water quality by drastically reducing storm water runoff and the associated erosion, pollutants and sediment load carried to the receiving tributaries of the Turkey River. Through relocating the driveway, improvements to the parking lot design, use of permeable pavers and construction of a crushed stone reservoir, water runoff is slowed and cleaned before being released via an adjustable gate valve. Parking lot aesthetics were improved through the use of colored pavers to delineate parking stalls and accessibility symbols making them permanent, reducing yearly painting maintenance. The new parking lot provides Aquatic Center visitors a constant reminder of the importance of storm water management within their community. These efforts have improved city infrastructure, reduced the community’s impact on the surrounding environment and have done so without significantly impacting taxpayers.

Donnellson:  Special Recognition in Water Quality. Using a mix of old and new technologies to improve water quality and quality of life the City of Donnellson undertook several measures to improve water quality in and around the community. The project consisted of planting fall cover crops, constructing terraces, water and sediment control basins in crop fields, a grass waterway, erosion control measures, and constructing bio-retention cells. Together these water quality improvements have reduced nutrients, sediment and hydrocarbons from stormwater runoff.

Davenport:  Special Recognition in Habitat Restoration. The City of Davenport implemented a successful pilot project of transforming a condemnable city streetscape into an enhanced, sustainable storm water management streetscape. The City installed permeable pavers to allow storm water to filter into a rock chamber below the sidewalk that reduces pollutants and cleans the water before entering the storm sewer. Additionally, tree plantings are below grade which also allows water from the sidewalk to enter the landscape pit providing water to the trees. Large tree logs were placed around the tree plantings to be used as benches. This project is expected to significantly reduce phosphorus, hydrocarbons, suspended solids, nitrogen and heavy metals from entering the storm sewer.


Clinton:  Special Recognition in Water Quality. The City of Clinton completed a major road infrastructure project reducing the quantity of storm water entering the City’s combined sewer system and correspondingly, the volume of combined storm water and raw sewage overflows to the Mississippi River.  The City implemented best management practices that included permeable paving in parking areas, alleys, and sidewalks, bio-retention cells, soil quality restoration, storm and sanitary sewer separation and tree planting. By implementing best management practices the City was able to successfully reduce organics, solids, metals, bacteria and nutrients from entering the Mississippi River.


The City of Clinton will also receive the Iowa League of Cities 2016 All-Star Community Award for the project in September. 

With sponsored projects, communities can complete two water quality projects for the cost of one.  On a typical Clean Water SRF loan, the utility borrows principal and repays principal plus interest and fees. On a CWSRF loan with a sponsored project, the utility borrows for both the wastewater improvement project and the sponsored project. However, through an overall interest rate reduction, the utility’s ratepayers do not pay any more than they would have for just the wastewater improvements. Iowa's Clean Water SRF has committed $45 million to 57 sponsored projects throughout the state. 

For more information on sponsored projects, click here.