Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 75.93
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Iowa State University
OP-23: Stormwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Cathy Brown
Assistant Director of Campus Physical Planning
Facilities Planning and Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a policy, plan, and/or strategies to reduce stormwater runoff from new development projects? :

Does the institution have a policy, plan, and/or strategies to reduce stormwater runoff from ongoing campus operations? :

A brief description of the institution's stormwater management initiatives:

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was established under the authority of the Clean Water Act in 1972. The NPDES program is responsible for controlling and regulating point sources of discharge of pollutants to waters within each state to maintain, protect and restore water quality of streams, lakes and rivers. In 1990, Phase I of NPDES storm water program was established to regulate storm water runoff. In 1999, Phase II of the NPDES storm water program was established and required communities that were not part of the Phase I to develop and implement a comprehensive storm water management program. Those communities that were included in Phase II of the program were designated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has designated Iowa State University as a qualifying MS4, which requires the university to comply with the Phase II storm water regulations. Iowa State has a storm water policy which guides both construction site runoff control and post construction site runoff control. The intent of the policy is to control storm water runoff, minimize storm water pollution and contribute to the protection of Iowa’s natural resources. The university design standards serve as a resource.
ISU has storm sewer facilities that serve the buildings and property of the University for storm water drainage and runoff management. Storm water runoff from different areas of the university is conveyed to five creeks or the City of Ames storm sewer systems and eventually into the Skunk River.
The university has an interdisciplinary committee that meets regularly to review storm water initiatives.
The University evaluates new construction for best practices that match the conditions of the site and project. Operational strategies and best practices are considered and implemented as part of the MS4 permit.

The website URL where information about the institution's stormwater management initiatives, plan or policy is available:
+ Date Revised: June 24, 2014

Does the institution have a living or vegetated roof?:

A brief description of the institution's living or vegetated roof:

ISU has six vegetated roofs associated with a variety of building types; four are new construction, two on existing roofs. Several projects are visually accessible to enhance student observation and learning. Two projects were part of student-led experiential learning initiatives. Five roofs are shallow systems; one is a medium depth installation.
(College of Design Pavilion, Biorenewables Laboratory, State Gym Addition, Horticulture test roof, Memorial Union small roof area, Troxel Hall)

+ Date Revised: June 24, 2014

Does the institution have porous paving?:

A brief description of the institution's porous paving:

ISU has several porous paving projects including a pervious concrete parking lot, a porous asphalt parking lot, concrete paver over granular base at plazas, short term parking areas, bus stops and bike parking.

Does the institution have retention ponds?:

A brief description of the institution's retention ponds:

ISU has retention ponds/treatment basins at several locations on campus, including: the northwest corner of central campus, the College of Veterinary Medicine campus, Hixon-Lied Building, Biorenewables Laboratory site, Horticulture Greenhouses, Bergstrom Football Training Center and ASB site. Several low impact drainage structures have been installed to complement site runoff from campus lawn areas and parking lots prior to water entering existing storm water systems and creeks, or to encourage infiltration rather than leaving the site.

Does the institution have stone swales?:

A brief description of the institution's stone swales:


Does the institution have vegetated swales?:

A brief description of the institution's vegetated swales:

ISU has large parking lots adjacent to the football stadium, coliseum, theatre area of campus and Reiman Gardens; these parking lots are sloped to drain slowly in a pattern that delays the time water leaves the area and encourages infiltration. The surface of the waterways is vegetated.

Does the institution employ any other technologies or strategies for stormwater management?:

A brief description of other technologies or strategies for stormwater management employed:

The University has implemented several stream bank stabilization techniques on College Creek including armoring, riffles and cross veins to improve and maintain a healthy waterway. Low Impact Development techniques such as rain gardens, sand filter, storm water intake restrictions have also been applied. ISU has also collected and repurposed site storm water for reuse in buildings on two projects, Hach Chemistry Building and Biorenewables Laboratory. Native plantings are another strategy used in combination with others mentioned. Music Hall roof drains have been captured and re-routed to remove the water from the storm sewer and provide the lake with an alternative water source.

Recent storm water management installations:

Iowa State has an interdisciplinary team that discusses alternatives to increase storm water management efforts. Additionally, ISU facilities staff meets quarterly with City of Ames Public Works staff to discuss broad topics, including shared interest in storm water management strategies and coordination.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.