Work is expected to wrap up this week on a new wetland built southwest of Perry on land owned by the Bock Family Foundation and largely paid for through the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).
Dyersville-based Steger Construction Inc. has moved the earth for the project, built the drawdown structure, driven the sheet piling for the outlet structure and done all the other engineering technicalities at the site on H Avenue just north of 190th Street in Washington Township.
“The wetland is removing the nitrates and then putting the treated water back” into the drainage system, said Michael Bourland, mine reclamation engineer with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), who received approval July 7 from the Dallas County Supervisors in their role as trustees of the county drainage districts.
Burland said the wetland development is not itself in a county drainage district, and the project has not required any changes to the existing tile or made any changes to drainage upstream.
He said the wetland will treat the runoff from 651.4 acres and is designed to handle a 100-year storm event, which is about 7 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.
“It’s an awesome project,” said Supervisor Brad Golightly, who represents the district where the wetland is located.
“As long as the assessments don’t change in the districts and the water flows, and it truly is, in the big picture, a public benefit,” said Supervisor Mark Hanson. “You have a willing landowner that wants to make this happen and even though the cost share’s more on the government side, it’s a value.”
Bourland explained that the project has involved permits and easements and agreements from a variety of entities, including the U.S. Army Core of Engineers, IDALS, the Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District, the drainage district trustees and the landowners in Drainage District 21.
He asked County Attorney Chuck Sinnard to review the agreement and suggested adding wording about future drainage ditch annexation as well as legal descriptions before signing and recording the instrument, with any maps attached.
Paul Steger, co-owner of Steger Construction, said most of his jobs are road work, subdivisions or landfills, but conservation projects like wetland developments are becoming more common.