Earth is moving and cement is being poured as construction begins on the community’s new wastewater plant.
“They’ve started on the operations building and the clarifiers. There is a lot of excavation to do, and they’ve started to pour some concrete,” said Zeke Ellis, the Sioux Center Wastewater Department head. “They are just getting started out there. This is a considerably bigger plant than we have now.”
Sioux Center’s new wastewater plant is being built to meet new, more stringent DNR standards and replace the community’s aging facility.
The new plant will be on the forefront of wastewater treatment in Iowa, Ellis explained, and it will be a cleaner, safer plant to work in. Above all, impact will be seen in the water flowing out.
“The quality of water coming out into our streams will be even better,” Ellis said. “The new plant will meet those more stringent standards. It will have the nitrogen/phosphorus removal, which affects everyone down to the Gulf of Mexico. Our plant will meet higher ammonia removal standards, which will help aquatic life.”
The current plant was built in 1981 and Ellis said it is sorely in need of an update.
“The electronic system is showing its age and there need to be more fail safes in place,” he said.
Construction is planned to take more than a year, with the new plant coming online in mid-2020.
“There is a lot of work to be done with a lot of different contractors,” Ellis said. “We also planned this longer timeline as a cost-effective measure for us, and we did see savings in the bids we received.”
The City of Sioux Center’s sanitary sewer system collects and treats wastewater produced by more than 2,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.