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Stormwater Project


In 2020, the City of Waukee was the recipient of a grant that enabled them to create a stormwater management system on the Waukee Public Library grounds. The Library uses three key strategies to collect and clean stormwater. These practices collect 90% of annual stormwater runoff from the Library parking lot, neighborhood, and surrounding streets and filter out pollutants before slowly releasing cleaner water downstream. When the cleaned stormwater runoff finally leaves the Library property, it drains into Sugar Creek, into the Raccoon River, into the Des Moines River, into the Mississippi River, and finally to the Gulf of Mexico!

The Waukee Public Library demonstrates how lawns and parking lots can be used to clean stormwater runoff by turning the ground back into a sponge! We use stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product by capturing runoff and allowing it to absorb into the ground to replenish groundwater and water plants along the way.

Learn more about the Library's watershed and the city of Waukee's watershedsInterested in implementing stormwater practices at your home? The City has a Stormwater Grant Program!

Conservation Practices

Stormwater (Wet) Pond

The wet pond between the Library and the road collects runoff from a 20-acre drainage area that extends well beyond the Library's property. It captures and stores water then releases it slowly downstream. Wet ponds provide water quality treatment and prevent streambank erosion.

Rain Gardens (Bioretention Cells)

Rain gardens or bioretention cells are the sunken planting beds in the parking lot and behind the Library. Above ground, they look like a flower garden! But below ground, there's an engineered design that filters pollutants out of stormwater runoff. This practice protects water quality, as stormwater is often transported directly to urban streams. Biocells capture and break down pollutants like heavy metals, greases, and bacteria and slowly release cool, clean water.

Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers are placed in parking stalls around the Library to decrease stormwater runoff. These pavers funnel the runoff down into rock layers, filtering out many pollutants. This process also slows the water down which stabilizes stream flows and reduces flood potential.


    Project Details

    • Treats eight acres of library property and 20 acres of off-site property.
    • When the cleaned stormwater finally leaves the Library property, it drains into Sugar Creek which flows into the Raccoon River and Des Moines River.
    • Signage is placed near each stormwater management feature, with an informational sign inside the Library lobby.
    • Funding Partners: Water Quality Initiative Grant, State Revolving Fund Sponsored Projects, City of Waukee
    • Grant Amount: $900,000 from SRF Water Quality Funding and $100,000 from IDALS Urban Water Quality Grant
    • Total Project Cost: $2.18 million

    Learn More

    City of Waukee Stormwater Department

    Clean Water Iowa

    Rain Campaign