Water Quality & Edge-of-Field Practices

Water Quality

ISAP’s Water Quality and Edge-of-Field programs highlight practices like saturated buffers, constructed wetlands, controlled drainage, and bioreactors, which are designed to capture and treat high levels of nitrate-nitrogen from tile flow. Conservation drainage training and related resources provide participants with knowledge and tools to scale up practice adoption by making conservation drainage practices a standard part of tile installation and farm management. 

The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC) and several ISAP partners were recently awarded a National Fish Habitat Partnership Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fishers & Farmers Partnership Program. The team is working in central Illinois to identify sites where (1) conditions are suitable for a conservation drainage practice, and (2) there is local interest in gaining hands-on experience with the evaluation, design, and installation steps associated with conservation drainage practices. Funding is available to install 3-5 practices at no cost to the landowner. Read the full press release here.

The ISAP team invites landowners, practitioners, drainage contractors, and others to recommend sites for consideration.  

  • Eligible practices:
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Controlled drainage/automated controlled drainage systems
  • Saturated buffers
  • Woodchip bioreactors

Highest priority sites will:

  • Treat drainage areas larger than 50 acres
  • Treat multiple tile outlets
  • Leverage resources from USDA programs such as CRP or EQIP
  • Integrate treatment practices into planned tile installation or improvement projects

Click here to recommend your site by October 13th. For additional information, an FAQ document for this project is also available:


Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework Cohort

In 2021, ISAP launched an Illinois Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) cohort, providing training on how best to utilize an ACPF as a watershed planning tool. The framework, which is being used in hundreds of watersheds throughout the Corn Belt, is based on a set of conservation practices that, used in combination, improve watershed health. ISAP provided an Illinois context for all training content and continues to grow the peer network of ACPF users in Illinois watersheds.

Interested in joining the Agriculture Conservation Planning Framework Cohort? For more information, contact ilsustainableag@gmail.com


Access a variety of program related resources.

Advanced Conservation Drainage Training graduates and trainees can access course materials here.