Iowa Stormwater Education Program

Bioretention Cells

Bioretention cells capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to reduce water pollution and stabilize stream flows. Bioretention cells have an engineered and constructed sub-grade to ensure adequate percolation of captured runoff.

Bioretention cells can be used in most settings, including parking lots and residential areas, where soils don’t adequately drain. They use plants that can tolerate a wide range of moisture conditions. Native plants are encouraged because they have deep roots and maintain soil quality and pore spaces.

A limiting factor for placement of a bioretention cell may be the lack of an outlet for the subsurface drain. An outlet is necessary to ensure proper drainage and often drains into the storm sewer or down gradient of the bioretention cell.

 

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