Natural Floodplain Functions

The Value of Floodplains

Floodplains serve natural hydrological and biological functions when open and free from development. In addition to protecting Kalona residents from flood dangers, the following is a list of reasons why protecting floodplains in their natural state is important to Kalona.


Hydrologic and Biological Functions

A floodplain in its natural state is the best tool for reducing flood velocities and peak flows. A healthy floodplain can reduce sedimentation and provide storage and conveyance for flood waters. Water quality is also enhanced through healthy floodplains. Floodplains can process organic wastes and filter runoff from urban and rural landscapes. The permeability of floodplains allows for aquifers to be recharged as well. The English River floodplain also serves as fish and wildlife habitats, many of which are breeding and feeding areas.  Diverse flora and fauna thrive in floodplain areas and improve the biodiversity of the region. The English River Watershed in Washington County is home to both threatened and endangered species such as Wood Turtles, which tend to nest in grassland buffers along streams and rivers (in the floodplain).


Protecting the Floodplain and English River

Everyone has a role in protecting the floodplain and the English River. Do not dump pollutants or garbage into the storm sewer inlets since they drain directly into the river. This can have negative impacts on plants and animals and clog the pipes, which can lead to backups and overflow.