Dry Run Creek Watershed

Dry Run Creek is a 15,177 acre watershed which flows through residential, industrial and commercial areas including the city of Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa before outletting into the Cedar River. In 2002 a segment of the southwest branch was listed on the State's 303(d) list of impaired waters due to a lack in the diversity and abundance of aquatic life. In 2008 the creek received a second impairment designation when it was placed on the 303(d) list for bacterial impairment. The project began in 2004 and is coordinated by Ashley Kittle.

Q. What water quality practices do you use on your property?
A. Installed Practices - Bioretention Cells - Bioretention Swale - Permeable Pavers - Permeable Asphalt - Permeable Concrete - Green Roofs - Streambank Stabilization - Soil Quality Restoration - Native Plantings - Rain Gardens - Cover Crops - Grassed Waterways

Q. Why did you voluntarily adopt these practices?
A. We have several project goals:

  • Treat runoff from the initial 1.25" of rainfall events in urban areas
  • Reduce sediment by 30 percent delivered to the streams
  • Improve/protect in-stream habitat along 25 percent of the stream corridor
  • Increase the awareness of Dry Run Creek and understanding of water quality issues among the watershed stakeholders
  • Increase community support

Q. What, if any, assistance (financial as well as technical) did you receive to employ these practices?
A. Since 2004, Black Hawk Soil and Water Conservation District has leveraged funds received by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship-Division of Soil Conservation, the Watershed Improvement Review Board and the Environmental Protection Agency Section 319 administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. State, federal and district employees work together to administer the project.

Q. What is your environmental philosophy as it relates to your property?
A. The Black Hawk SWCD believes in community-based environmental improvement. We provide technical and financial assistance for landowners who are interested in improving water quality in Dry Run Creek. The landowners within the watershed are leading the effort to improve the watershed; we provide support. We also have a robust outreach effort that focuses on increasing awareness about runoff and water quality-related issues. It is our mission not to single-handedly improve Dry Run Creek, but to partner with landowners and facilitate their efforts to improve the creek.