Best Management Practices (BMP's)

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The City of Marion is encouraging and utilizing BMP's as described in the SUDAS Erosion and Sediment Control Manual. There is a lot that can be done to help mitigate stormwater pollution, which can be caused by anything ranging from improper disposal of hazardous materials to overuse of lawn care products. Common sources of pollution include: batteries, fertilizers, household cleaners, motor oil, painting materials, pesticides and pet excrement. For information regarding acceptable practices and designs refer to, or the Iowa Rain Garden Design and Installation Manual.

Marion also uses the FAIR (Filter-Absorb-Infiltrate-Retain) Recommendations to obtain better water quality.  


Stormwater runoff from residential properties can pick up pollutants such as lawn fertilizer, pet waste, and trash, and carry those into storm sewers, creeks, and rivers. In an effort to improve the quality of stormwater runoff and increase local awareness of the importance of protecting our local streams and lakes, the City of Marion has developed a Residential Cost-Sharing Program to promote methods to capture and infiltrate stormwater in residential areas. Stormwater Best Management Practices – or BMPs – such as rain gardens, rain barrels, and soil quality restoration can be used in residential yards to capture stormwater where it falls and allow it to infiltrate into the ground. 

  • Rain gardens are shallow depressions that contain permeable soils and native plants where rain water is collected from yards and downspouts. Rain water is then taken up by the roots of the native plants and also naturally infiltrates into the earth. The one-time rebate for rain gardens would be up to $400 per residence.
  • Rain barrels collect rain water from roofs and downspouts. This water can then be used to water plants, gardens, lawns, or even for flushing toilets. The one-time rebate for rain barrel would be up to $50 per rain barrel with a limit of one rebate per residence.
  • Lawn soil improvement, also called soil quality restoration, is a simple but effective way to improve the ability of lawns to absorb rainwater. A process of soil aeration and compost application improves the root systems of lawn grass and allows for better rainwater absorption. The one-time rebate for soil quality restoration would be up to $350 per residence.

Rebate Applications:

Rain Garden Rebate Form
Rain Barrel Rebate Form
Lawn Soil Quality Improvement Rebate Form


Stormwater runoff from your street, sidewalk and driveway flows directly through storm drains and ditches to streams, wetlands, and lakes.  This runoff washes pollutants into surface waters harming water quality and fish habitat.

Your everyday activities can help preserve the health and well-being of nearby waters like Indian Creek & Squaw Creek.  Below are some tips to help prevent water pollution from runoff:

  • Sweep you walks and driveway instead of hosing them down.  Soil, grit and debris from paved surfaces often contain contaminants that pollute water.
  • Wash your vehicle on grass or gravel areas to prevent wash water from running into storm drains.  Wash water can contain oils and detergents that harm water quality.
  • Maintain your vehicle regularly.  Oil leaking from vehicles contains toxic metals.  Rain picks up these materials and carries them to area streams, lakes, and wetlands where they pollute water and harm fish.
  • Recycle used motor oil and dispose of household hazardous waste properly.  Call (319) 373-4771 for information on recycling or disposal sites near you.  Never dump oil or other hazardous wastes down a storm drain or pour it on the ground.
  • Use safe, non-toxic solutions to manage plant problems.  For information about effective ways to manage pests with toxic chemicals, call the Linn County Extension, Master Gardener at (319)377-9837.
  • Preserve vegetation.  Plants filter pollutants from runoff, and prevent erosion.  Plants near waterways provide habitat for fish and wildlife and shield streams from extreme temperatures.
  • Control animal access to streams.  Animal wastes degrade water quality and livestock can trample and erode stream banks.
  • Buy low phosphate detergents.
  • Place trash in the garbage.






IAMU - Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
With the mission to support and strengthen Iowa's municipal utilities, IAMU represents more than 550 municipal electric, gas, water and broadband utilities in the state.

Iowa Stormwater Education Program
Provides education, outreach, technical resources and training programs to protect and improve water quality in Iowa.

Rainscaping Iowa
A statewide educational campaign that promotes urban storm water management practices to protect water quality and reduce runoff.

Interactive Water Cycle Diagram for Kidswater cycle diagram
The water cycle describes how the Earth's water changes from liquid (rain), gas (vapor), and solid (ice), as well as how it moves around the Earth. The water cycle is a continual process that does not stop.

Chapter 155 (Erosion and Sediment Control) and Chapter 156 (Storm Water Management) are portions of the city's Municipal Code of Ordinances which deal with stormwater.


For questions or concerns regarding any stormwater related issue, please call the City of Marion Stormwater Hotline (Engineering Department): (319) 743-6340.

If you would like to report illegal or illicit discharges of non-storm water, non-irrigation runoff to the stormwater system, please use either the online form or our printable form. Questions and discussion of Stormwater Management should be done in the forum created for that specific purpose.

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