Work on Second Bio-Retention Cell Begins
by City of Muscatine
July 19, 2019

The Department of Public Works (DPW) began construction of the City of Muscatine’s (the City’s) second bio-retention cell on Monday, July 22nd. The bio-cell, located in Parking Lot Seven (across from City Hall) between Cedar and Sycamore Streets, will take approximately three weeks to complete.

The project will temporarily displace approximately fifty parking lease holders, but the project will not permanently remove any parking spaces. The lease holders may return to their spaces once the project finishes.

The City established its first bio-cell just off Sycamore Street between the first alley and Parking Lot Four in 2017. The City also established a detention basin (Mulberry Native Habitat Basin) at the intersection of Mulberry Avenue and Baton Rouge Road that operates slightly different than a bio-retention cell. “These projects provide great opportunities as demonstration sites for urban stormwater treatment,” Brian Stineman, DPW Director, said. “By demonstrating the effectiveness of infiltration practices, such as bio-retention cells and permeable pavement, we hope that these types of stormwater practices can be included into future streetscapes of the community.”

In cooperation with the Muscatine Pollinator Project and the Muscatine Soil and Water Conservation District, the City applied for and received a cost-share grant from the Water Quality Initiative Urban Conservation Project, funded by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

The bio-cell will channel stormwater through the permeable pavers or into a nine-inch ponding area that will allow the removal of sediment, nitrates, phosphates, and other pollutants from the stormwater before proceeding into the storm sewer. The ponding area will also house several native plants that will also remove pollutants from stormwater.
The City hopes to duplicate bio-retention cells, such as these, and other green infrastructure ideas throughout the City, further reducing the nutrient load into the Mississippi River.

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