Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.09
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Iowa State University
OP-23: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Clay Miller
Environmental Programs Manager
Environmental Health and Safety
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Which of the following best describes the institution’s approach to rainwater management?:
Comprehensive policies, plans or guidelines that require LID practices for all new projects

A brief description of the institution’s green infrastructure and LID practices:

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 stormwater program was established to regulate stormwater runoff. In 1999, Phase II of the NPDES stormwater 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 stormwater regulations. Iowa State has a stormwater policy which guides both construction site runoff control and post construction site runoff control. The intent of the policy is to control stormwater runoff, minimize stormwater 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 stormwater drainage and runoff management. Stormwater 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 stormwater 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 University has implemented several streambank 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, stormwater intake restrictions have also been applied. ISU has also collected and repurposed site stormwater 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.


A copy of the institution’s rainwater management policy, plan, and/or guidelines:
A brief description of the institution’s rainwater management policy, plan, and/or guidelines that supports the responses above:

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 the 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 through University or City of Ames storm sewer systems and eventually into the Skunk River.

The University has an interdisciplinary committee that meets regularly to review university policy, storm water management initiatives, and future campus development.

The University evaluates new construction for best management practices that address conditions of the site and scope of the project. Operational strategies and best practices are considered and implemented as part of the MS4 permit and campus development process.

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 programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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