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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Eric O'Brien
Submission Date March 1, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

University of Northern Iowa
OP-23: Stormwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Paul Meyermann
Asst Dir Operations Planning
Physical Plant Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a policy, plan, and/or strategies to reduce stormwater runoff from new development projects? :
Yes

Does the institution have a policy, plan, and/or strategies to reduce stormwater runoff from ongoing campus operations? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution's stormwater management initiatives:

Stormwater Management

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was established under the authority of the Clean Water Act in 1972. The NPDES program is responsible for controlling and regulating point sources of discharge of pollutants to waters within each state to maintain, protect and restore the water quality of streams, lakes and rivers. In 1990, Phase I of the NPDES storm water program was established to regulate storm water runoff. In 1999, Phase II of the NPDES storm water program was established and required communities that were not part of Phase I to develop and implement a comprehensive storm water management program. Those communities that were included in Phase II of the program were designated as Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s).

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has designated the University of Northern Iowa as a qualifying MS4, which requires the University to comply with the Phase II storm water regulations. The UNI has storm sewer facilities that serve the buildings and property of the University for storm water drainage and runoff management. Storm water runoff from the different areas of the University are conveyed to Dry Run Creek and its branches and to the City of Cedar Falls ’storm sewer system.


The website URL where information about the institution's stormwater management initiatives, plan or policy is available:
Does the institution have a living or vegetated roof?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's living or vegetated roof:

UNI has two vegetated roofs associated with athletic complexes. One roof is in McLead Plaza and addresses stormwater from the McLeod Center and the UNI Dome. The other green roof is on the top of the Track complex.


Does the institution have porous paving?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's porous paving:

Pervious pavement is utilized near the McLeod Center and the Wellness Recreation Center on campus. Additionally, previous asphalt is located in north or the Wellness Recreation Center.


Does the institution have retention ponds?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's retention ponds:

A retention pond/treatment wetland is in place on Dry Run Creek, just north of the Wellness Recreation Center.


Does the institution have stone swales?:
No

A brief description of the institution's stone swales:
---

Does the institution have vegetated swales?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's vegetated swales:

Vegetated swales are in place adjacent to parking lots associated with the Business and Community Services Building and the Towers Residence Complex.


Does the institution employ any other technologies or strategies for stormwater management?:
Yes

A brief description of other technologies or strategies for stormwater management employed:

A stream bank stabilization project was implemented on Dry Run Creek. Controlled discharge of storm water from residential developments is critical to maintaining healthy waterways. Low Impact Development (LID), rain gardens and minimizing impervious surfaces are the tools available to meet this goal. Stream bank erosion accounts for up to 50% of undesired sediment contribution to some streams and waterways. Re-shaping and stabilizing stream banks makes them safer for people and improves water quality.

Thanks goes to the IDNR for their support of the installation of “bank hides”. They provide fish habitat in strategic locations in Dry Run creek. Aquatic life is an indicator for water quality. Waters that do not sustain life sends a clear message.


The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.