URBAN PROGRAMS & RESOURCES
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Loess Hills in Western Pottawattamie County
Urban development is rapidly taking place in the Loess Hills. The Loess Hills are Western Pottawattamie County's most distinctive landscape and Iowa's most fragile landform in susceptibility to erosion. When loess soils are disturbed, the threat to surface water is significant. Soil erosion rates are so high that the amount of eroded sediment carried in streams draining the Loess Hills is among the highest in the United States.
Projects for Urban Communities
Harvesting rainwater can help conserve precious water resources. The simplest way to start harvesting rainwater is to install a rain barrel. A rain barrel is a water tank used to collect and store water runoff, typically from rooftops via rain gutters. The rainwater stored in these barrels can be used for many things including: flushing toilets, washing machines, watering gardens, washing cars, or for agricultural use. Rain barrels are becoming very popular in both rural and urban areas. They are easy to build and are now available to purchase from retailers.
Rain gardens are depressional areas landscaped with perennial flowers and native vegetation that soak up rainwater. Planting a rain garden helps reduce storm water runoff from impervious surfaces like streets, which improves water quality in local creeks, ponds, lakes, and rivers. These gardens are designed to capture and hold runoff, allowing the water to filter into the soil rather than into a storm drain. A rain garden should be placed in a way that allows runoff to enter by natural flow, or by directing downspouts to the garden.
Pervious pavement/cement is a special type of concrete with high porosity. It is designed to allow percolation or infiltration of storm water through the surface into the soil to reduce runoff. By infiltrating storm water on-site, the amount of water and pollution flowing into storm sewers and local waterways is greatly reduced.
Provided by National Association of City Transportation Officials