To move forward with improvements to the wastewater treatment facility for the city, council addressed an environment information document for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. A part of the Iowa Revolving Fund requirements, council approved the document at its recent meeting.
“What this document is if anybody would have any concerns about the ground being sacred, wetlands, threatening endangered species or floodplain areas, something people might have concerns about,” city clerk Kim Thomas said. “None of this should affect any of those areas for the treatment plant. It is just a notification saying that we are going to be doing this and if you have any objections you have a chance to say.”
The city is working to modify the western wastewater treatment facility to comply with new regulations set out for the facility. The document states recently issued discard permits for the facility contains limits for ammonia that are stricter than previous and new E. coli effluent limits and modifications are necessary to comply with the new discharge limits.
To complete the work, the city will need to use new land, which made the environment information document necessary. The document consulted more than 35 agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Historical Society of Iowa, various agencies within the DNR and more than 30 Native American tribes. Also, a Phase I Archeological investigation of the proposed project area is currently underway and results from this investigation will be submitted to the State Historical Preservation Office for review. The project will only proceed as planned if a determination of either “no historic properties affected” or “no adverse effect on historic properties” can be appropriately reached with or without mitigation.
The Iowa DNR Conservation and Recreation Division found the project will not interfere with any state-owned parks recreation areas or open spaces. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concurred the project will not impact wetlands or any wild or scenic rivers. It was also determined the project will not impact threatened or endangered species or their habitats, but should any state or federally listed threatened or endangered species or communities be found during the planning or construction phases, additional studies may be required.
The Iowa DNR Water Resources found the project will not impact the 100-year floodplain and surface water or groundwater quality or quantity should not be affected.
“We’re not going to disrupt, we’re not going to build a new one, we’re just making ours better,” mayor Doug Duinick said.
The proposed improvements for the entire system include decommissioning the western plant, constructing a new lift station and force main from the west lagoons to a sewer connection, general rehabilitation fo the existing sewer between the connection point and the eastern plain and conversion of the eastern wastewater treatment plant to a Lemna treatment system including a polishing reactor, effluent flume structure and ultraviolet disinfection.
The positive environmental effects felt from the update will be the improved treatment of the wastewater from the city, compliance with effluent discharge permits limits, reduced discharge of the pollutants ammonia and E. Coli to the receiving streams and improved water quality in the receiving streams according to the document.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 orájpierson@newtondailynews.com