July 8, 2022

Batch and Build

Batch and Build

This innovative project removes barriers to putting in water-cleaning structures called bioreactors and saturated buffers at the edges of fields. It’s been so successful at speeding up implementation that it is now being replicated in counties and watersheds across Iowa.

Saturated buffers and bioreactors connect to tile lines at the edge of fields to remove nitrate before it enters local waterways.

The Batch and Build model was created by Polk County Public Works in an effort to drastically scale up the number of saturated buffers and bioreactors in the county. For years, only one or two were installed a year in the county. By streamlining the process, removing burdens for landowners and farmers, and providing additional funding, Polk County has scaling that up to more than 100 per year. Statewide, these edge-of-field practices have now increased 650% year over year!

This model was an outcome of the Conservation Infrastructure initiative, co-led by IAWA and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. IAWA is helping to replicate the success in the North Raccoon and Cedar River watersheds.